I know I usually post about artsy things, but hey, this is Caltech! And what’s Caltech if not first and foremost academically rigorous? So we’re nearing the end of our last week of classes. Which means next week, is FINALS! My last finals week as a frosh :) One of my classes, Bi1 (the full title is Biology 1: Micro- to Macro-Biology: Integrating Basic Principles Across the Life Sciences) is a little bit unorthodox and is giving a timed, in-class exam. (Normally, most of our finals and midterms are “take-home,” meaning we can do them whenever we want, wherever we want, under the protection of the Honor Code.) The professors have given us twenty questions, and from these they will pick six to be on the exam, and we will choose three to answer. Each of our answers should be about a page long.
I’ve been up for quite some time now working on my study guide. I definitely should have started it a few days earlier, but I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff. I reallywant to do well in this class–I think my grade right now is around a B- or B, and I’d love to get a B+ or A-, so it feels like it’s within my reach!!
Since Caltech has this legendary stereotype of all-nighters (and it looks like I’m about to pull my first one), I thought I’d give you guys a taste of what it’s like!
3PM-9PM: Casually working on the study guide, making very slow but steady progress. Taking a lot of breaks to talk to people and eat and stuff.
10:30PM: Collaboration time! Got together with a few friends to talk about some questions and concepts.
11:13PM: Left the group to venture out on my own. Intense study period commences.
12:00AM: RAGE AGAINST BIOLOGY. I’m kind of frustrated because I feel like I’m not making much progress. So I take a break to listen to some music and browse various stupid websites. After being kind of cranky about the amount of work I have left to do, I decide complaining obviously won’t help and I get re-motivated :) Back to liking biology!
2:00AM: COFFEE TIME. Alas, as nowhere is open at this hour, I am limited to making instant :(
3:15AM: Wow I am pretty tired. About six more problems to do?
4:31AM: Starbucks opens at 5, wondering if I should make a pilgrimage up the street… But I should probably shower, I kind of smell bad at this point.
6AM: Maybe I should go for a run! That would be really nice. But hey! My best friend Caro just stopped by my room to collaborate! Yayyyy more brain power :D
8:30AM: Okay, probably time to get ready for class now, as I have math in 30 minutes. MORE COFFEE.
10:30AM: Just got some really good news about one of my other classes :))) I feel much more motivated to keep pressing on! I started to make my 3x5 index card that we’re allowed to bring into the test (this happens a lot at other colleges, but not so much at Tech), and I had no idea I could write this tiny!
12:29PM: 30 minutes til the test. Ahhhhhhh. This is so weird, I’m not used to in-class exams! Time to grab lunch!
2:30PM: Ahhh It’s over! And I think I did really really well!!! :D Now it’s time to go get some SLEEP!
Hope you guys enjoyed this brief sneak peek into what a finals week at Caltech is like ^_^ Remember, they won’t ALL require all-nighters! Questions and comments are always welcome below!