Surviving finals: a guide to romanticizing your way through testing


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Forget the studying tips you’ve picked up elsewhere. They’re all lying to you.

Mara Fendrich, Staff Writer

As I near the end of my last round of finals, the time has come to give away the vast collection of knowledge I have obtained as a high school test taker. Fear not, for I’m not here to give you boring, generic advice on note taking or flashcard making. I owe my academic success to the dark academia aesthetic, which consists of stacked coffee cups and white button up shirts with heavy undertones of classism. With no further adieu, I present you my guide to romanticising school in order to make it through semester testing.

  1. Look the part. Dark academia is an aesthetic, after all. Sneak into your dad’s closet and pull out his largest, heaviest blazers. If you’re going for that “rich but less rich” outsider look, hand me downs are perfect. Stick to neutrals, as this will give the illusion of going to a private school with a dress code. Add a little bit of chaos by starting to fix your hair but never finishing it. Always be in a rush.
  2. Act the part. Invest in fancy stationary and pretend to write important things in your journal when other students are around to seem extra mysterious. The goal is to be a brooding, pained genius. Spend more time in the library and pick up books you have no intention of reading.
  3. Romanticize your surroundings. The brick detailing outside of the school? That’s dark academia now. The couples making out in the hallways? That’s dark academia now. The only way you will be able to manage your days will be by convincing yourself that everything around you fits into your new aesthetic of heavy intellectualism. If there isn’t a way to incorporate a certain part of your school experience into your new gray-colored glasses, simply pretend it isn’t there. Ignorance never goes out of style.
  4. Put actual studying off until the last minute. All of your pretending to study takes up a lot of time, and you need the brain power to play the role. Quizlet doesn’t fit into your new lifestyle, so only access it in the wee hours of the night before you take an exam.

These tips might seem counterproductive, but trust me, beauty is pain. Who cares about your actual grades, anyway?