Hibernation is key: How to survive finals


Connor Ciecko

By Ellen Barczak, Columnist

would like to report an imbalance in the universe. Since I am unaware as to whom I should notify about this celestial malfunction, I will explain my predicament to you, reader.

The space-time continuum is broken. It’s December, and, as far as I’m concerned, it was August about five minutes ago. All of a sudden, it’s cold and dark, and I have about 6,000 quizzes and exams coming up. It cannot possibly be the end of the semester because, as I mentioned earlier, I moved in five minutes ago.

The college lifestyle is fast-paced, packed with activities both entertaining and obligatory. It seems like the weeks have just slipped out of my hands — I don’t know about you, but something weird seems to happen to time here.

For as short as this semester has seemed, though, it feels like months since it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny walking to classes. One day, I was walking down Armory when I was suddenly struck with an idea for a column: Social media, particularly Instagram, is filled with pictures of people living perfect lives. The thing is, anything seems perfect and happy and wonderful with the right filter on it.

Following that logic, then, I thought, why couldn’t you take that concept and apply it to your daily life? Couldn’t anything look better if you could put a filter on it, see it from the right angle?

I thought this idea was brilliant. However, we mustn’t forget about the context of the situation; exams hadn’t been taken, grades hadn’t been entered, the cold and dark days were far off, and I was on a freshman-in-college, new-lease-on-life high. It was easy to be a pollyanna.

I currently do not care to follow that logic. I would much rather ride out this seasonal affective disorder, listening to far too much Bon Iver and eating highly caloric food, than take the effort to see the sunny side of the situation.

Go ahead, call me negative or unappreciative or whatever you want really — tell me there are “a million reasons to smile” or tell me to be a “glass-half-full person.” I’m not going to listen to you, though, because, you know what? It takes a ridiculous amount of energy to be positive.

Being positive is a wonderful thing, but it takes a heck of a lot of effort to see the good, small things in a hectic, busy, stressful, end-of-the-semester lifestyle. And, honestly, I need to conserve all the energy I can if I’m to find the volume of yet another irregularly shaped function revolved around the y-axis using the shell method. Or get out of bed in the morning. I have entered survival mode.

I can say with certainty that I am not the only one feeling this way. And to my fellow burned out, stressed, anxious and exhausted brethren, I would hereby like to absolve you of your guilt and to declare it right and just to be bummed out around this time of year.

Go listen to depressing indie acoustic music that will probably make you more sad, anyway. Go to bed at 8 p.m. instead of going to that party after eating a large volume of high calorie food.

It’s going to be break soon, I promise. You’ll have more time and energy (and reasons) to be positive then, anyway. These final three weeks are about doing whatever it is you have to do to finish out the semester with your sanity and some decent grades. I invite you all to join me in my introverted quasi-hibernation; it seems to match the weather and the spirit of finals season to a T.

Ellen is a freshman in LAS. 

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