12/14/2011 12:54 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2012

Should I Hit The Bars Or The Books?

From College Magazine.

It's that time of year again: winter cheer is spreading through campus like wildfire! And by this, I mean the North Face coats are being yanked out of storage boxes; the furry female favorite, Uggs, are replacing our leather boots; wool beanies are taking the place of baseball caps; Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint mochas are becoming the newest Starbucks staple; and holiday break is finally approaching. Then there are Christmas-themed mixers (with the occasional girl in blue donning a Star of David... that would most likely be yours truly), ugly sweater parties... the list of things to do could go on and on.

But of course, I must take a moment to deflate all your hopes and dreams for the coming weeks because along with the wintry activities of this cheerful season comes what we've all been anxiously anticipating for months: finals.

If you're already stressing out about this terrifying six-letter curse word, below are some words of wisdom from final exam veterans at my university who have already been through the grueling process and know how to balance their time between work and play:

"Finals [season] was actually the one time I couldn't really get away with balancing partying and studying. But the lost time was made up for when all of my finals were over."
-- Justin G., University of Michigan

"Depending on the magnitude of academic requirements, going out and partying tends to take a backseat to studying during the rigorous examination binge known as finals week."
-- Matt Lacey, University of Michigan

"It's not that hard to balance when you go somewhere like Michigan because everyone generally takes their studies seriously so almost no one is going out!"
-- Kristine Colosimo, University of Michigan

It's news to me that people don't make their way to the bars during finals week here at Michigan. Students from other universities seem to find a similar balance between studying and partying:

"I'm an English major, so I don't have many exams during our finals period. Instead, I have a ton of papers due during those two weeks. I try to work on the papers early and throughout the week, but all the free time and parties makes it difficult to concentrate and I usually fall victim to my signature brand of extreme procrastination. Here's hoping this year will be different, and I don't go out the night before my final paper is due again!"
-- Jess Fromm, Lehigh University

"I usually don't make a habit out of going out until all my finals are done, but in the week before finals, I will make sure I have time set aside during the day to study so I can still go out at night. I really try not to let my school life and social life interfere with each other if I can help it."
-- Brian Blenner, Penn State University

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