Trevecca freshman Rhiannon Peterson recently navigated through her first college finals experience. As Trevecca students head home for a break, we share a few excerpts from her journal.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29
Finals. To me, finals is a term I use to describe that week at the end of the semester where all the students take a bunch of tests, and it’s really stressful and confusing. At this point, finals are still two weeks away. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t even know what my schedule is for that week yet. A lot of upperclassmen and faculty are starting to really stress finals week, but I don’t think I understand yet how big of a deal this actually is. I really have no idea what to expect.
We’ll see how it goes, I guess. I haven’t started studying or anything quite yet, but hopefully this week I can figure out what kinds of tests I will have and how many. I will probably start studying at the beginning of next week. That way, I can take a little bit at a time, instead of cramming it all in a few nights. I’m incredibly anxious. My heart beats faster when I think about the amount of incredible, overwhelming stress and pressure I am going to feel in a just a few short weeks. Here’s hoping I measure up.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
I have five math assignments, three essays, and two music theory assignments due on Monday. I still need four chapel credits, and there are only two chapel services left. I lost my room key twice this week and my student ID once for THREE DAYS. That’s three days of no caf, no Hub, and no Cube. None of this even touches all the time I need to spend studying for all my finals this week, the work I have to put into arranging, learning, and practicing for NPWI’s band challenge on Friday, and all the laundry, cleaning, and packing that needs to get done before I leave for Texas for two weeks over Christmas break.
I am exhausted.
We still have a full week before finals start, and I can feel the tension building in my heart and mind, and I know that if I’m feeling this way, other people must be, too. There’s no way I am alone in this. I’ve always been the kind of person that worries about everything and is easily stressed, but if I’m being completely transparent, I don’t know how anyone does this. I have to remember that when life gets difficult, and there are more bad days than good, God is still in control. Even when I feel like I am not capable of completing the huge to-do list I’ve built up for myself, God is still in control. God is still in control. He has a purpose and a plan for my life. As long as I am seeking after Him, I cannot fail. My success is not gauged by my performance, but rather promised by Jesus when He died for me on the cross. I can find my success, contentment, and happiness knowing that He loves me not because I am loveable, but rather because He is love.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6
Wow! Finals are next week. This will be the last time I have these classes, the last time I work with some of these teachers, and the last time I sit by these great people. Looking back on this semester, I can’t believe how well things worked out. I could have ended up somewhere different, doing something different, with completely different people, but I’m here. Nashville, Tennessee. Trevecca Nazarene University. The National Praise and Worship Institute. I am beyond blessed.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11
I found out today that I have two finals: Introduction to Biblical Faith and Problem-Solving. They are both on Tuesday, which is nice because I’ll be done with the semester two days early. The bad thing about it is I definitely haven’t even started studying for either of them…
Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12
I have SO much to do today, and I am crazy overwhelmed. I feel like I got pretty lucky only having two finals, I can’t imagine trying to study for more than that. My first final is tomorrow at 10 a.m. and my last is tomorrow at 4 p.m. I know it’s all going to be fine and that a single test score or grade shouldn’t drastically change anything, but for some reason I still feel like this is a huge deal.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 13
What a day! I definitely, definitely failed my Intro to Bib Faith test, but I’m pretty sure I did really well on my Problem-Solving test. Now I’m done. I can’t believe it. I made it through my very first finals. I am filled with such a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I can finish my degree. The last few weeks of school have been pretty intense, but I made it through. My first semester as a college student is complete! Now, I can’t wait to go home, spend time with my family and get ready to come back for spring semester.This blog post was written by Rhiannon Peterson, a Trevecca freshman studying worship in the National Praise and Worship Institute. Now that finals are over, she plans to head to Texas with her boyfriend, and then home to Iowa to see her family and friends. She plans to enjoy the holidays by playing card games with her grandmother, drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies with her mom and sister.