Wellesley College, the private institution that has historically prided itself in its well-educated, prim and proper students, has maintained that image to this day. Especially when the much-anticipated finals week rolls around twice a school year in mid-December and early May, we strive to preserve that same grace and charm. In fact, Spring Open Campus should be moved to reading period, where prospective students can experience the real Wellesley. Let’s be honest — none of us needed the balloons and banners and good food; all we needed was a ‘real talk’.
Reading period usually marks the beginning of this glorious time. You haven’t seen your friends for three days, and finally meet up for moonlight dinner. You’re wearing your black adidas sweats, your Nike running shoes and a random Wellesley sweatshirt you bought first-year. Did you work out? No, but nobody has to know. You attend moonlight dinner, a time of community bonding over your collective doom, and get not one, but three plates of pancakes and scrambled eggs — we aren’t judging. Volunteers come to Bates and Lulu to help feed the waves of students that flood the dining halls. Make sure to leave your backpacks, iPhones or your plates of food on your table and/or the fishbowl room you just passive aggressively fought for: you need to mark your territory as you get back in line. Once that’s over, and as if we needed more of a reason to prove our non-human states, we participate in the primal scream.
Primal scream is a loved and respected tradition, a dignified way to release the stress that you’ve been getting from the writer’s block that you haven’t been able to climb out of despite three cups of coffee and a brief YouTube break. It’s quite cathartic to us, but it has a slightly different effect on our neighbors. When midnight strikes, the blood-curdling screams of two thousand students echo across the campus. Families that live nearby choose this night to threaten their kids to behave, or else they’ll ‘leave you to those Wellesley students’.
Mostly, the highlights of the final exam period are concentrated in the preparation for the tests. From the sweatpants aesthetic, random moody outbursts, pep talks and existential crises, Wellesley is clearly the place to be. But let’s get down to the actual test day. Some of the students ambitious (or desperate), get to the Science center for the first time slot of the day. Others resignedly (and more realistically) drag themselves to the afternoon times. The Honor Code is both a loved and feared thing. On one hand, it takes away the nail-biting stress of being monitored by your professors, but on the other hand, it involves an I.D., a signature to abide by the terms and conditions that come with the unsupervised test and a scavenger hunt to find an available seat in one of the classrooms. Congratulations! You’re finally released, and free to put on proper clothes and maybe get some vitamin D back in your life. You’ll enjoy what seems to be a long break from finals, but never long enough.