Finals week, or should we say, the “F-word,” is the week before break that fills college students with dread. It’s bad enough with all the extra studying, late nights and exam anxiety, but when something goes wrong on top of all that it can be truly miserable. Valley asked students what their worst finals week experience was, and the responses do not disappoint. Here are five finals week horror stories from Penn State students who lived to tell the tale.
“During spring of my freshman year I had an awful finals schedule, five in three days, and I had major anxiety over my Nutrition final since it was pretty heavy in science and I didn’t have a chance to study for it. It came to the day of, and as I tried cramming, I got a text message, not even a call, from my clueless dad that he had decided to put my cat down. Her name was Noodles and she was a calico that I had since I was a toddler. While she was definitely showing signs of old age, I had no idea that I wouldn’t ever see her again— and I would have been home to see her in two days. I know it’s just a cat, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time, she was the sweetest and I loved her a lot. I tried to battle through and save my mental breakdown until after the test, but the anxiety mixed with the lack of studying mixed with her death resulted in me failing that final. It wasn’t fun.” – Julia, bio behavioral health major
“Dunkin Donuts has been my study spot for like 2 years, but sometimes their WiFi can be iffy. Last year I had to take my final exam for an online class I was in and decided to take it in the library since I was nervous about DD’s WiFi. While I was taking the timed exam, I noticed that my WiFi was going in and out; I did not think too much about it because it always ended up connecting after wavering for a little bit. However, after a while it would not connect at all. I was literally walking around the whole library with my laptop in the air while trying to answer exam questions at the same time. When I finished, there was 4 minutes left on the exam, so I ran upstairs to the IT desk because I could not submit it without WiFi. This guy at the desk accidentally exited out of my whole exam! I tried to log back in and only about half of my answers were saved. When the 4 minutes was up, my exam submitted automatically and I think it was like less than a 50% or something. I started bawling and emailed my professor with the subject line: EMERGENCY. Luckily he was understanding and let me take the exam over.” – Celine, English and French major
“I was an undecided science major and it was my first semester. On the Monday of finals week, I had a final project to present at 8am, where the wrong, unedited version of our video played in front of the class. Later in the afternoon I had a biology final where our 5th exam was stapled to the front of our final exam (so two different exams in one sitting). And later that evening was the Chem 110 exam.” – Cam, economics major
“Last spring my friend turned 21 on the Thursday night before the Friday I was supposed to have an 8am final. She didn’t really drink so I was expecting a relaxing night. However, she got so drunk that we had to carry her home. She was wearing really high heels so she kept stumbling, and we would catch her. But when she stumbled on that really steep hill near Lion Heart, we lost our grip and she rolled into the gutter of the street. So two random boys walking past us had to help us get her up and carry her back to my apartment. We felt really bad so we repaid them with shots and basically, I got so drunk at my own apartment that I slept through my final.” – Maddie, journalism major
“The exam was going to be a piece of cake so I figured why not go out [the night before] and take part in the lovely Gaffeoke scene. Well, deep regret. I couldn’t make it five minutes without throwing up. The professor realized I was dying and allowed me to take it two days later. #ChristmasMiracle.” – Emily, strategic communications major
Valley wishes everyone good luck on finals— and welcomes you to share your own unfortunate finals week stories in the comments!