UCR is changing. I feel it in the nonexistent river. I feel it on top of the C. I smell it in the trees. Much that once was, is now lost, for none who party can remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Tests. By week three, midterms were given to the CNAS, beings who still haven’t convinced me that math is a “natural science.” Tests were also given to BCOE, great miners and craftsmen of Minecraft. And nine, nine weeks of essays were gifted to the race of CHASS, who, above all else, desire power. But they were, all of them, deceived, for something worse was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master Week, to control the outcome of your classes. And into this Week he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Week to rule them all.
Yes friends, the end of the quarter is upon us and we must yet again do battle with the dreaded force of evil that is Finals Week. It sure is an odd time isn’t it? For most of every quarter, half of the population tries to look good in a futile effort for acceptance and admiration, but as soon as finals roll around, everyone agrees that sweat pants are suddenly in high fashion. Everyone agrees that make-up, deodorant, showers and sleep are all just for the weak. You’re not a true academic warrior unless you are sporting noticeable sweat rings and raccoon eyes.
Then the campus itself looks like Scotty the Bear got kidnapped by Rod Serling. Where there were once Greek letters and skateboarders nearly crashing into you, there are nothing but crows cawing into the abyss. On the bright side, though, with nobody around, one can actually get a mediocre Subway sandwich in less than half an hour. But seriously, there’s a lack of souls on campus to the point where you could climb the Bell Tower naked and nobody would notice. Disclaimer: don’t actually climb the Bell Tower naked. Nobody wants to see a naked butt eclipsing the sun. Well, maybe Sir Mix-A-Lot would.
Yodel-ay-he-poo. I’m sorry, that was a crap joke.
But while the HUB and Bell Tower areas are completely barren, the libraries are teeming with edgy and nervous students. It is such a weird shift to walk around in complete silence and then enter the Rivera library only to see the place vibrant with antisocial mole people, who burrow deeper and deeper away from the outside world as if it was the UV rays that caused them not to read half of each book their professor assigned. They huddle in anger as they stare at walls of text as if their eyes can just instantly scan pages into their minds. They get frustrated that they aren’t learning anything from the flashcards they made a week ago but are looking at for the first time now, as if the ritual of making flashcards itself is enough to warrant enlightenment. They are the poor, unfortunate souls who have sold their souls to Red Bull and Starbucks in the hopes that caffeine will save them.
Then there are people who are even too antisocial for mole people and choose to lone wolf their studying. And good lord, is that a tough battle. The entire time you are sitting there in your room, sirens begin to call you. You can’t properly study unless everything is clean, right? And since you’ve spent so much time cleaning, you should go get something to eat—can’t study on an empty stomach. Now that you’ve eaten and become a bit sleepy, you should take a nap now, doesn’t that sound great?
Things get even worse if you have to use your laptop. Reddit is always just a few clicks away and much more fun than making the information you ripped off of Wikipedia look like you totally didn’t just rip it off of Wikipedia. Do you know what’s a better thing to do on the Internet than spam emails to everybody in your class? Everything. In fact, doesn’t it feel like the right time to marathon something on Netflix? To Hell with grades, shouldn’t you catch up on “The Walking Dead?”
Art at this level is so hard to resist.
The saddest part about Finals Week is that there is really only one demographic that profits off of it: drug dealers. The demand for Adderall around this time of year skyrockets to the point where I am surprised people haven’t started hunting down the attention-deficit yet. Then of course, as soon as finals are over, people stock up on enough junk to even make Hunter S. Thompson nervous. After all, the best thing to do after cramming a bunch of stuff into your brain is to try your damndest to squeeze it all out. It’s not like we all pay thousands upon thousands to be here or anything.
However my brothers and sisters, while it is as insufferable, dragged out and abundant in tears as “Les Miserables,” Finals Week too will pass. So buckle down, stock up on the toxic caffeine sludge of your choice and get ready for yet another battle of endurance. But have faith everyone, beautiful things are just beyond the horizon if you can live long enough to see them. If you make it out alive, you can one day see “Iron Man 3,” buy a PS4 and even see Sofia Vergara’s machine gun boobs in “Machete Kills.” So fight hard, Highlanders. You’re so close to freedom.
And so close to glory.
King Alexander “Longsword” Suffolk will be fighting for the Iron Throne in Germany this spring. Look out for “The Deutschland Diaries” next quarter.