The Many Faces of Hell Week

Tomorrow is Friday, and I for one cannot wait.

I’m excited for a few reasons, first and foremost being that I am completely done with classes at Alma and am therefore sleeping in until eleven before holding myself up in the library to finish my senior thesis.

Tomorrow marks the end of Hell Week, a strange week that happens at the end of every semester and that can take a lot of different shapes and forms.


My freshman year I wasn’t really sure what Hell Week was. I just knew that it was my last week of classes and I sure as heck was looking forward to a free week where I only had a few exams. I didn’t spend much time studying and decided that I would spend my days walking to the park and doing other things in the warm weather.

As my freshman GPA has graciously noted, this was a mistake that I did not make again.


In order to rectify my half-formed freshman mistake, Hell Week of my sophomore year was pretty intense. In fact, I made it way more intense than I needed to. I spent hours upon hours in the library doing needless tasks, telling people how busy I was (a horrible habit that we really need to drop on this campus) and finding new things on my to-do list that absolutely must be done. I also started the tradition of carrying my stuffed Simba around with me for comfort in the deeply troubling times that I myself had made troubling.


I spent just as much time in the library studying my junior year as I did my sophomore year with but with one key difference: everything I was doing was actually due and making me feel like I was drowning. A wise person once told me that junior year royally sucked, and this proved true in both high school and at Alma. I was consistently in the library until it closed at 1:00 a.m. in the morning and I still felt like I wasn’t getting anything done.


I am definitely in the careless senior stage currently. I planned my classes so I only had two real classes the entire semester, I finished both of them today, and am looking forward to nine days of no classes. I have two papers to write and no exams. Both of these papers have been started. I do, however, have a 250 page senior thesis that’s not done and that’s daunting, but I’ve been spending my free time reading Harry Potter instead of working on it, because sometimes (and by that I mean all the time) it’s really hard to care.

Most of my senior friends are in the careless senior phase. Although many of them have a lot more to do than me, they’re still taking copious breaks, watching Disney movies, and spending time with friends before we get our degrees next Saturday.

My boyfriend is currently in a mixture of the junior and sophomore phase, where he’s spending lots of time holed up in his room doing work. I’m not entirely sure if all of it is as important as he makes it seem. At least he’s preparing himself for his junior year.

Hell Week looks different for everyone. When I’ve described my Hell Week to inquiring people, I get a lot of nasty looks because I don’t have much going on.

But to everyone who’s doing the Drowning Junior, we’ve all been there. And if we haven’t, we all will be at some point.

One week left, you guys. We’ll get through exams. And seniors, we’ll walk. And it’ll all be worth it.

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