Finals week, the melting pot of all of the efforts of the semester. There is a calm about the school, a buzzing calm comprised of all of the hysterical students anxious to write their exams, as well as the true serenity of those who have accepted the routine of study-sleep-write-repeat. It’s a beautiful thing.
Now don’t think me inconsiderate of those with true test anxiety, but frankly there is a certain air of resolve about finals time. As my friend and classmate Kevin Joannou said, “Finals are great, you just study all day and then go home”. Kevin is a very good student. Kevin has been prepared for his finals since the last day of classes I’m sure of it. Even for me, someone who often leaves finals preparation to the dire hours of the night before and the morning of, I have to agree with Kevin. Finals are great. It’s what we are here for, no? All it comes down to is showcasing your acquired skills in your field of study, and solving relevant problems to the course material. I’m sure many of you would dispute that last point, however I maintain that finals are a splendid time of academic closure for the semester of study.
Having just written my first final in my Virology class, I feel a wave of relief pass over my mind and body. I have done a good thing, studied thoroughly the material provided to me by my instructor, and I am hopeful that the mark will reflect that. If it does not, however, I will still be happy knowing that my current knowledge of viruses is at its peak, and my introduction to that field of study has interested me in not only the study of viruses, but how habits manifest themselves as ‘viruses’ to personal success.
Viruses are interesting complexes that skirt the definition of ‘alive or dead’ in that they operate and exist solely by their command of a host. Without the host, they are nothing. Within a host, they become powerful. Kind of like how without my bidding, the words on this page do not come to exist, but once I’ve caffeinated myself, sat down, punched out a blurb and then edited it for publication, upon publication the words are given life, and from there, their reach is incalculable. For example, if I were to write ‘The Great Piece of North American Literature’, a piece so fine that it was maintained for generations as a timeless piece of art, then the combination of words would be given a prosperous ‘life’, just like a good anti-viral resistant virus. In my analogous learning about writing from virology, I have also found that poor writing is no different than an unsuccessful virus; it is easily refuted and cast away. However, it may be that the real virus is me, the writer. When I’m combatted with poor reviews, or poor readership, then, like a good virus, I must make alterations to my craft to make it more transmissible. My conjecture then is that in all facets of life, our personal success may be viewed as a product of viral habits, and with that analogy in tow, we must all look at what alterations best confer the replication of success, be it successful strategies for study, or successful habits for achieving our personal goals.
On that final note, I would like to applaud all of the successful students at Concordia for making the appropriate changes to acquire academic success, and I wish all students drudging through this week of finals to think like a virus, and adapt for success.