Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Official blog of the Lehigh University Chemical Engineers

Finals Week

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The trees and flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping… meanwhile I, along with the rest of campus, am cooped up in various nooks and crannies around Lehigh studying for our dreaded finals. Thankfully, my finals have been fairly spread out and I’ve had at least one if not two days between all of my exams. I had BIOS the first day of exams, then Organic Chem 2 on Thursday, and just had ECE yesterday. They all went pretty well and I feel like I understand all the questions and concepts. With three down, I only have one final to go. Unfortunately, that final happens to be in Thermodynamics which is a very difficult class and there are a bunch of concepts that I have to be able to apply to problems. Right now I’m taking a break from my Thermo book to clear my head and take a little break. For me, I find my most effective study method is to find a quiet room with comfortable chairs and windows. It’s weird but I feel like I need to be able to look outside while studying, maybe to be able to keep track of time. Through the last couple finals weeks, I’ve also discovered it is beneficial to take some breaks. I’ll take twenty minutes or so and watch some sports highlights from the day before or go for a walk. If I just sit and stare at study material for hours on end it all runs together and I lose the ability to focus. Obviously, everybody studies differently and has their own method to preparing for exams. People all have their favorite study spot that they believe no one else knows about, I too have a few secret spots that I cannot divulge on this forum. It’s not uncommon to walk by a room or in the library and see students taking a nap or “resting my eyes” like a prefer to say. Finals week is stressful and paramount to successful grades in classes but it will eventually end, as all things do.

Honestly, I feel like finals are, for the most part, easier than normal exams in a course. The toughest part about finals is often the buildup and psyching yourself out. Students get so worked up and nervous that they panic and put too much pressure on themselves. Although finals are worth a lot of points, professors aren’t out to trick us. They want to test the main points of the course and obtain an overall exam for determining how well students understand concepts. For this reason, final exam questions often don’t go into much detail and focus on important ideas rather than minute details. If students attend class the whole semester and do the homework, there is no reason they shouldn’t be completely capable of solving any problems. Professors want to test the most important applications of the class because they will be used in a professional field. For me, I think the actual exams aren’t the most challenging part of finals, it’s the mental battle. It’s difficult to assure oneself that they are prepared for a final and are capable of doing well. Right now I’m trying to reconcile all this Thermo information. I know it all and am able to use it, but at the same time feel like I won’t be able to use it on the final. I feel like this inward battle plagues many students, and if they can overcome the anxiety finals really wouldn’t be too bad. I should really get back to studying now though, my twenty or so minute break is over. After my final tomorrow, I’m planning on writing a “year in review” post. Until then, enjoy these finals memes…

finals4 finals1 finals2 finals3


Author: Ben Dunmire

I am a sophomore Chemical Engineering major at Lehigh. On campus, I am the president of Club Baseball and a member of AIChE and NSCS. Outside of school, I enjoy the outdoors, fishing, and any type of athletic activity. You can reach me at

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