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Spontaneous Nose Bleeds?

It's Probably Finals Week

A few days ago, I was in the middle of washing my face when I began to taste something metallic. I cracked my eye open and looked down to see something terrifying. Blood, blood everywhere- in the sink, splashed on the wall, and to my horror, smeared all over my face. I braced myself for the likelihood that Stephen King’s IT was about to reach out of my drain and pull me in. Luckily, before too much panic set in, I realized the source was my nose. Since then, I have been lucky enough to experience spontaneous nose bleeds at the most inconvenient times. The strange thing is, I never get nosebleeds. There was only one explanation behind this ominous sign of my poor health- Finals.

Now, I can only speak for myself as I take you through my last “finals week” at the University of Virginia. For those who do crazy things like set healthy boundaries, start your assignments in advance, and practice self-care, this is what you are missing out on…

*Cue dramatic voiceover

For weeks, you have been ignoring that giant wave of doom slowly approaching from a distance. You forget the promise you made to yourself last semester to start ahead. Instead, you reassure yourself with lies like “It won’t be as bad this time around,” or “it’s my last week of college, I can just BS my way through.” But as the wave comes crashing down, you realize there is no amount of bargaining with a higher power that can save you now. Some immediately come to terms with their fate, and they peacefully sink to the depths without any sign of struggle. For others, it’s time to hit the books.

First, you have to find a designated study space. If you are like me, this space needs to have minimal noise and distractions, canceling out 99.9{1ec963b5e49b71ece78222781bbaf034dc09e9809f998ba753b312453260bf5b} of grounds. If you are serious enough to enter the first floor of Clemons or the McGregor Room, it is imperative you know the rules of social conduct beforehand.

The main rule: absolutely, under no circumstances, can you make any noise. It is the same concept as the movie “A Quiet Place,” but instead of being eaten by giant monsters, making noise will result in a sudden chorus of aggressive throat clears and side-eyes from your peers. Over the last five years, I have seen every type of disrupter possible-

 

  1. The Oblivious
    This person often enters the room talking on their phone, unaware of the sudden, dramatic shift in their surroundings until it’s too late to save their reputation.
  2. The Snacker
    This subject consumes multiple snacks with extra crinkly and loud wrappers that take forever to open.
  3. The Individual that the World Revolves Around
    Listen, I get it, occasionally you will need to whisper something to another person- this one isn’t for you. This offender is one who is aware of the rules, but chooses have long conversations anyway (typically about something like pocket squares). If you are this person, you are the worst.
  4. Other Offenders include the mouth breather, the exasperated sigher, the desperate sobber in the fetal position, and last but not least, vape girl. (Yes, I made a category just for you, vape girl).

It is important to know that time also runs differently here, where 10 minutes library time is equivalent to 12 hours in the real world. Around midnight, someone will gently remind you that Alderman is closing, so you and a small crowd will begin the walk of shame to Clemons. In the 24 hour library, if it weren’t for the windows showing night turning into day, you could easily have your whole life pass by in one sitting. The hours tick on, and the crowd thins as good soldiers begin to fall. Those remaining send them reassuring looks. “You fought hard,” their eyes say. There is a sense of solidarity and kinship between everyone still present after 4 am. You might even feel moved enough to share some of your Chex-mix with a particularly distraught first year. Some decide to arrange the dated, moss-green chairs as a makeshift bed. “I’ll just rest for twenty minutes, just a small power nap,” they figure. This is possibly the biggest mistake you could make. Don’t do it. Go home and set an alarm instead of accidentally sleeping through your exam.

When 8 am rolls around, you can hardly hold your head up as the employees’ vacuum over your charging cord. What day is it again? Where am I? Who am I? Your eyes are crossing and you realize you have just typed the letter “e” on a loop for the past 30 minutes. It is time for you to go home now.

As you emerge from the deep pits of hell to rejoin society, the sunlight burns your eyes as you begin the long journey home. Any remaining sense of accomplishment is destroyed after 7 peppy joggers brush past you. You may never know what it feels like to have your life that together during finals week, but it’s okay. These two weeks are only temporary, and your undergrad years will be over before you can say “I’ll do better next semester.”

Posted by: Taylor Marrow

Posted in: Blog.

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