The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

    The Week of Nervous Breakdowns

    The library is as crammed as the useless information you have loaded into your head. The dark circles under your eyes make you look like you play for the NY Giants, and your hands shake from the endless supply of caffeine running through your veins. And so the week of finals begins.

    Now I am not throwing a pity party or anything, but things can be a lot worse than 6 exams in 3 days. How you ask? You could have finals in Europe. I guarantee by the time you are done reading this you will be grateful when you sit down in a lecture hall with a number 2 pencil in your hand.

    Europe is strange. Beautiful, but strange. Well at least to my American standards. The college education system falls into the strange category. And if you are taking finals there, it is uglier than…actually I really can’t think of anything worse.

    I was shocked the first day of class when I didn’t receive a syllabus, but I brushed it off realizing how much I take for granted the schedule laid out by generous American professors (how many times have you heard that expression?).

    The next epiphany I had was when I was told there were no papers to write, no quizzes, and no midterms. There are however, still those huge, and still expensive, textbooks to read. Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well things usually are and this is no different.

    Finals are important on every continent and stressful in every language. But (and that’s a BIG but), imagine if your entire grade was riding on your final exam. Maybe you think it is, but if a final is a ride, here it is off a cliff.

    Exams in Europe are oral. Remember those huge expensive textbooks? Anything in it is fair game. Any date, name, and miniscule detail in all 500 pages. Bet that number 2 pencil is looking pretty good, huh?

    Picture this: You walk into your professor’s office and sit down. He looks at you and asks, ‘What day was Pope Pius VII exiled from Rome, and what day did he return?’ Now you panic because you met Pope Pius the first day of class and he was in the second chapter of a textbook you read months ago. The wheels in your head spin as you blank out all information except that this question could be the first in a series of 50 questions, or the last of one.’

    You look at the person across from you who lives for moments when people regurgitate their words. Did I mention he just so happens to be the author of your 500 page textbook? Your palms sweat as the thought crosses your mind that you could have completely misunderstood the question. A little misunderstanding with great power. A wrong answer that can destroy a semester of class time. Maybe you can make up for it, maybe you can’t. Ready for the good part?’ It is in a language you have spoken for less than 5 months. Hello. Welcome to my nervous breakdown. Good luck with yours.

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Statesman

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Statesman

    Comments (0)

    All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *