The Dreaded 4:30 Final

The most wonderful time of the year is prefaced by the most horrendous time of the year: Finals (so bad it receives capitalization). Finals time is the time to demonstrate how hard you’ve worked all semester, your last chance to prove to your professor how smart you are. Or, more often, how good you are at camping out in the library for 27 consecutive hours cramming. Not sleeping. Not eating. Sending the occasional “save me” snapchat. Then over-eating.


The worst kind of final is the dreaded 4:30 final. You awaken at 7 a.m. with the grand intention of reviewing all day, and then noon rolls around and you come to the realization that you will spend the next few hours in a numb limbo-type state until you just get the test over with and sleep for three uninterrupted days (or – if you’re a newbie who didn’t plan your class schedule around the finals schedule – you take your 4:30 exam and immediately start studying for your next three.)


But I can’t just study all day. I have things to do. Important things (as you’ll read below). So here are some ways to kill time (after studying of course, right Mom?) while you wait for that unpleasant 4:30 final:

Note: can you guess which ones were inspired by personal experience?

Spoiler alert: all of them.


  • Create a playlist for the drive home.
  • Organize your closet.
  • Purchase Christmas presents for your dogs online.
  • Craft a roommate Christmas card.
  • Empty your desktop.
  • Translate Justin Timberlake lyrics into Hebrew.
  • Write a screenplay featuring characters from Rent, Chicago and Legally Blonde who all meet at a coffee shop in San Diego and solve each other’s problems and, while in the process, discover new things about themselves.
  • Re-learn how to double-jump a jump rope.
  • Blog about things to do instead of study.
  • Calculate the lowest possible grade you can get to still make an A.
  • Watch an episode (or 3) of Laguna Beach seamlessly followed by an episode of The Hills.
  • Write a strongly worded letter about the new grading system to whoever decided to implement the new grading system.
  • Practice your Shakira impression (singing, talking and dancing).
  • Try on all the dresses in your closet.
  • Remove lackluster laces from a pair of tennis shoes and replace them with hott pink ones.
  • Tie-dye one of your brother’s undershirts that somehow ended up with you in Waco.
  • Cut your newly tie-dyed shirt into a tank top that you’ll never wear considering you’ve thoroughly destroyed it.
  • After brainstorming something punny, re-name your apartment’s Wi-Fi.
  • Notice that you’ve used up your Buttery French Vanilla candle and roadtrip to Spice to buy a new one.
  • Determine which celebrities will most likely receive coal this year.
  • Drink some coffee.
  • Drink some more coffee.
  • Go for a run outside because you’ve had far too much caffeine.
  • Photoshop yourself into a picture with the Franco brothers.
  • Knit a sweater (since you skipped the pre-requisite of learning how to knit, this one is more of a “maybe one day…”).
  • Write the alphabet in cursive right-handedly and left-handedly and compare.


As you can see, you can be exceedingly productive during your last few pre-post hours (days)! The moral of the story here is: the more coffee you drink and the fewer hours of sleep and human interaction you get, the better your Shakira impression will be. Merry Christmas everyone.