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The 10 Worst Things People Do During Finals

The 10 Worst Things People Do During Finals

By Alicia Thomas

We all have pet peeves. But during Finals Week, our hatred for minor offenses like slow-walking, lip-smacking and vocal fry increases exponentially. Here are a few of the majorly annoying things that people do during finals—think of thy neighbor!

Chewing their gum loudly. I swear on Katniss's bow, if I hear you crack a bubble against the roof of your mouth one more time, I will hurl my pencil at your forehead like it's a target board.

Tapping their toes incessantly. I am not at your fifth grade dance recital, anxiously awaiting your tap routine to "Annie." Either start singing about how the sun will come out tomorrow or keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Cracking their knuckles. It starts a chain reaction, you know that, right? First you're doing it, then the guy in the row behind you is doing it, and pretty soon you can't hear yourself think because your ears are ringing with a chorus of tendons snapping over bones. JUST DON'T, OKAY?!

Yawning. We were all awake until 4 a.m. studying for this final. Much like knuckle-cracking, yawning is contagious. But this one is worse because if I catch you yawning, and the next person yawning, and the next and the next and the next, I WILL EVENTUALLY START YAWNING and then my brain will lose oxygen and I'll fail the test and it'll be all your inconsiderate fault. So just stifle it.

Tapping their pencils against their desk. Keep the percussion for the Stomp touring show and/or Anna Kendrick's "Cups."

Not bringing a pencil. Dude. You had ONE job. Bring a #2 pencil to fill in the bubbles and write your essay. Don't spend the five minutes before the exam asking every single person in the room if they have a spare pencil, because we'll all loathe you for your unpreparedness and wish Fs upon you.

Freaking out right before the exam... "Ohmygod, I'm totally going to fail, I definitely didn't study enough, what am I going to do with my life, I don't even know how to flip burgers... " JUST STOP. We're all having the same internal freak-out, but we're polite enough not to verbalize it and get everyone else all worked up. So just bite your nails, stare at the clock, and concoct your backup life plan as a Thai kayak instructor like the rest of us.

... or acting super cool and nonchalant. "Oh, yeah, we have a final today, don't we? I totally didn't study. I haven't studied all year and I've gotten As. I'm sure I'll be fine." GOOD FOR YOU. I'm not sure when outright laziness and academic apathy became a trend, but it's even uglier than Crocs.

Reading the questions to themselves under their breath. Sorry that you're not the greatest at reading, but I don't need to hear Parseltongue while I'm trying to focus. In your head, please.

Finishing in five minutes. This is the mother of all offenses. If you finish a final that takes the rest of us a full hour in just five minutes, you have officially succeeded in making us all look really stupid. Once you skip out the door, keep skipping until you hit Pennsylvania.

What are your biggest Finals Week pet peeves? 

Topics: Life
Tags: college, finals, studying, exams, don'ts, types of people

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About the Author
Alicia Thomas

Alicia Thomas is a novelist trapped in a college student's body. She was just accepted to La Universidad de Sevilla, so she'll be traveling and eating tapas for a while. She likes words. And tea. And you. Yes, you.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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