Everyone knows finals are stressful. I am currently writing this sitting in the library, in the midst of preparing for my last final of the semester. Exams are high-pressure by nature, but luckily Penn has so many resources to make it a little bit easier for us.
Before finals even start, we get almost a week off, a short break we call “reading days.” During this time, there are neither classes nor exams, so you can hit the library and study before finals begin, or even catch up on pre-finals beauty rest. During this time, there are often lots of review sessions and extra office hours, led by both professors and teaching assistants. These are great ways to review material and ask questions directly to instructors.
In addition, we have a tutoring center with free tutors available all semester. I used tutors this semester, in order to reinforce the concepts I learned in lectures and recitations for two of my courses. Meeting with each of them once a week made me feel a lot more prepared and confident in my abilities and my knowledge. One important thing I learned during my freshman year is that waiting until reading week, or finals week, to start catching up is very difficult. Penn’s resources make it easy to try and stay on track during the semester, so why not take advantage of that?
During finals week itself, while tensions may run high, Wharton does a lot to help us out. The Bridge Café in Huntsman Hall offers free coffee on select nights during the week (which I’ve definitely learned to appreciate), and several full-size classrooms are set aside specifically so they can be quiet study rooms, available to everyone the whole week. Walking into these rooms, I feel a sense of focus and optimism, which always reassures me. Being surrounded by your peers during a stressful time is often a great pick-me-up.
Another thing I appreciate, in regards to academic support, is the supportive and collaborate spirit of Wharton’s student body. Throughout the semester, especially during reading and finals weeks, it’s common to see classmates sharing study guides, reviewing practice exams, and answering each others’ questions. One of the most valuable and important things to have in college is a support system, and it’s remarkable that Wharton is a support system in itself. Knowing that everyone around me is willing to help is truly extraordinary.