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‘Hell week’

“MAY EXAM pa ko tapos may inugpasa pa gid nga video tapos my sulaton pa ko analysis sa isa ko ka subject. Kaya ko ni ayhan?”
I overheard a student saying this while I was walking down the school corridor on Monday. Indeed, “hell week” is real. It is called such because it is a period of hardships, challenges and sleepless nights for students. It is the time of the year where a student juggles exams with other academic requirements.
Sometimes these requirements are piling up one after another other and poor student does not know which one to prioritize. Giving up is not an option at this point or else drastic consequences are waiting on the wing. Consequences can range from getting failing grades, scolding of parents, repeating a course in the second semester, and a lot more.
Ask any student and I am pretty sure he does not want to be called a failure. In our culture, our parents inculcated in our minds early on to put premium on education. Every son and daughter is sent to school even if the family cannot afford the expensive cost of college education. We Filipinos believe that finishing school is the only way to improve our sorry state. So instead of giving up, offer prayers to God and exhaust all efforts to survive this torture.
“Indi ko na kaya, besh. Wala gid ya naluoy aton teachers,” a student cried. Teachers do not have any intention to torment students during “hell week.” They do not have much of a choice, do they? They need to give final exams and other requirements to test whether a student has understood the course or not. Hence, there is nothing to fear if you are a conscientious student. If you are doing your job right from the start, like researching or doing your homework and papers, then surely you can survive this torture.
I remember my college years at the University of the Philippines. “Hell week” was the most dreaded time of the academic year. There were times when I wanted to pull the days so everything would be over and I could have my vacation. My primary motivation was that I would be able to rest during the semestral break in my hometown.
During “hell week”, pancit canton and chucheria were my best friends as I hurdled the long nights of burning my midnight candles. I felt energized when my stomach was full. I could accomplish so many things. Sleep was a luxury during this week of agony. And so I tried my best to steal a nap if I had the time.
Moreover, my friends and classmates never failed to assure me that we were on the same boat. Hence, we must help each other to be triumphant in this ultimate test of our student life.
There were times I am tempted to give up but I always motivated myself with the quote I saw on a classmate’s t-shirt: “Never ever ever give up.”
Hence, I pushed myself to finish my exams and completed my requirements on time. I crammed a lot back then and fortunately, I was good at cramming. My brain cells were working when I am pressured.
However, I do not advice students to procrastinate. It is always safe to prepare ahead of time. Although I do my tasks during the last minute, I make sure I do not compromise the quality of my work and as much as possible, if I have ample time to prepare, I try my best to finish everything early.
I am the type of student every teacher loved to have. I did all my assignments and I studied hard. I put extra effort in all of my requirements. “OA na kung OA” but yeah, I did not settle for mediocrity. As much as possible I always wanted all my outputs to be the best. But if ever my best was not good enough, I accepted it wholeheartedly.
After the storm, I looked forward to the idea that I could finally sleep longer and relax. During the last day of “hell week” I couldn’t wait to take my last exam then pack my bags and go straight to the pier. I could already imagine the food my mom would prepare for my arrival. I could already feel the soft mattress that supported my back. I already had the vision of a lovely semestral break vacation with my family.
“Hell week” will soon be over. As a famous line reads, “Nothing lasts forever.” You just need to toughen yourself and condition your mind that you can hurdle all of these obstacles.
I would like to end this by a quote to help inspire students who face the greatest challenge of their academic life: “You’re allowed to scream, you’re allowed to cry but do not give up.”/PN



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