The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Two-week turnaround: Is it two weeks from hell?

Our own personal purgatory is this two-week turnaround, but maybe there are upsides
Photo courtesy of Main Street Lexington
Photo courtesy of Main Street Lexington

The two-week turnaround from Thanksgiving to finals is arguably (definitely) the worst weeks of our academic career. It’s filled with professors cramming final lessons into just a few classes, last unit tests, papers, presentations and projects before finals even begin.

For me, these two weeks have been a little step into my academic hell. I came home from Thanksgiving and went right back to the grind (I wrote a ten-page paper the next day).

I didn’t unpack from my trip home for a whole week. Instead, I lived out of my suitcase. My room is in constant disarray. I haven’t spoken to my parents in days.

These two weeks feel like I have no time nor motivation to do anything but school and… nothing. Classes, papers, study, dinner, and then staying up way too late not wanting to go to sleep and starting the next day. Rinse and repeat.

But, to be completely honest, these two weeks might be a blessing in disguise and filled with opportunities for joy.

The vast majority of other colleges get two, maybe three, days off for Thanksgiving. Instead, we are given a whole week to return home or to a friend’s house or rest on campus.

And while other schools work right up until the holidays, we have at least a week to spend with our families and friends before the holiday stress kicks in.

Being from New England, it is sometimes hard to feel the holiday spirit on campus. December is supposed to be cold. It was 60 degrees this weekend in our little Lex ecosystem.

Despite the ungodly warm weather for the season, there are ways to find the holiday spirit on campus. I have such a hard time pulling myself away from work and studying. But finding myself at the campus festivities eases the stress just a little.

Regardless of your opinion on the D-Hall food or specific dinners, themed meals with music and friends are a form of stress relief that can only be found this time of year. And don’t get me started on midnight breakfast. I am so excited. Why? I don’t even know. It is something to do instead of studying.

The holidays are a time for nostalgia and bonding. No matter what you celebrate, or if you celebrate anything at all, December’s winter brings joy, or at least it is supposed to.

I know how hard it is to feel any emotion other than low-grade anxiety. But there are so many ways to feel the holiday joy in these two weeks: Evans Dining Hall’s winter wonderland desserts, the Holiday Pops and University Singers concerts, midnight breakfast, door decorating competitions and the Lexington Christmas Parade, just to name some of the many events.

While I miss the New England winter (I will despise it once I get home) and hate these two weeks from hell. I am grateful for the time we get to have with our families and the small ways to find joy in between.

Finals are stressful, and our professors expect a lot from us, but holiday festivities or just making time for our friends, are ways we can find that holiday spirit and keep ourselves from burning out completely before we are done with our tests.

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