Final Exams and My Final Days

Alexina Estrada Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


June 23, 2016

Exams are still going on but luckily for me, I am done. That’s right, completely done! I had all three of my exams already and now have almost two whole weeks to do whatever I want. Here’s what I’m thinking… the Wellington Zoo, Adrenalin Forest, Mt. Victoria, the Botanical Gardens, the Wellington Cable Car museum and Te Papa Museum. I have more than enough time to do all of the things I still want to do around Wellington. I even could travel the north island more if I wanted to, which I do, but because my time here is coming to an end, so are my funds.

I am so incredibly happy to be done with exams and classes for the semester, but I must say, I forgot what the stress of finals felt like for a bit. In a previous post, I wrote about how it’s sometimes hard to remind yourself that while you’re studying abroad, you need to remember to focus on classes too. The same goes for exams. I’m not saying that you should stress yourself out so much that you can’t appreciate and enjoy the experience of being abroad, but you should still stay focused on doing well.

At my home school, Mills College, I get two "Reading Days", days that there are no instruction or exams for students to study as much as they can. Then we have about two weeks of exams and then we are off for break. Here at Victoria University, you are given “Study Week”, a whole week to study, and then there are three weeks of exams. Back home, most of my final exams are also take home essays or projects. Here at Victoria, all three of my papers required in class sit in exams. It was definitely a struggle for me to remember how and what kind of mindset to have when studying for sit in exams, but it had to be done.

I won’t lie, it took me a while to actually sit down, focus and study for each of my exams. I wanted to be out walking around the city while the sun was out, meeting friends for lunch at their favorite restaurants, and just taking it all in some more. I had to remind myself though, that I didn’t want to not pass a class and have that show up on my transcript. I had to think about all the effort and hard work I have put in already at Mills and how I didn’t want to let one semester change all of that.

So I eventually did buckle down and studied hard. I had an exam on Monday, Friday and then on Saturday. For each one I studied up to an hour before the exam quizzing myself and putting thoughts together in my head. I feel pretty good about all my exams, but because I hope not to jinx myself, I won’t think about what letter grade or percentage I will receive.

I have a few friends who still have some exams coming up, so they are studying and also enjoying their last days here. As for me, I’m enjoying the freedom from classrooms and lectures, and the freedom of being alone before I go back home. I mean, I miss my family so much and can’t wait to see them, but I’m really enjoying this peace and quiet as well as the ability to go wherever and whenever I want. I’m counting down the days until I’m home, and the days that I have left to enjoy this beautiful country and city.