By CASSANDRA SWIHART TOWER Staff Writer
Here at Bethany, the warmer weather this week has come as a pleasant shift from the unseasonable cold that has been plaguing the college for quite some time now. Now in the first week of May, many students find themselves trying to have some fun in the warm weather during these last few weeks with their friends for the year. Students can be found out on the hill or their decks enjoying the sun and many have put away their warm clothing as they transition to lighter summer clothing. Students who live in Campbell Village can be heard noting the unpleasant scent of the trees outside of their buildings as they bloom for the year. As temperatures go up, it is not uncommon to see class attendance going down in these last two weeks of classes. However, with final exam week nearing, many students find their stress building.
A sure sign that the semester is ending is always the talk of final exams. From high schools to colleges, finals tend to be on everyone’s minds. Students find themselves completing projects, writing papers, and going over study guides as they prepare to finish out their classes for the year. At times, students can be heard voicing their frustrations about all that they need to get done before they can receive their final grades. Some rush to complete placement hours before their deadlines, while others complete their last few weeks of labs and prepare for their final lab practicals. Most have more than a few things that they can be using their free time to complete, though this makes it hard to just enjoy the nice weather. Some put in long hours of studying in hopes of getting the best grade possible, while others are simply just trying to finish their classes and go home for the summer.
As spring semester comes to an end here at Bethany, many juniors and seniors can be found spending long hours in the library studying for comprehensive exams. These exams, commonly referred to by students as comps, are a graduation requirement here at Bethany. Comps are not something that every college does, and there are mixed opinions as to whether or not they are a good thing. The exams test for understanding of information that students learn in their major and include both a written and oral section.
Students at Bethany can take comps either at the end of January term late in the month, or in the early weeks of May before graduation. The determination as to when they will take their comps depends on what classes they take and when they are eligible to take the exams, and therefore it will differ by student and by major as to when they take them. Those who are taking them next week are done with their courses for the semester early, and therefore have this week off to study before testing begins next Monday. These students are studying virtually all day every day until their testing begins, trying their best to retain as much information as possible. Some have hopes of earning distinction, which is done by obtaining a high score on comps and being recognized as one of the top students within a given field.
As students prepare to move out and head home for the summer, there is much packing and moving to be done. For those who live close to the school, this is sometimes easier to do because it does not take long to take several trips of belongings home. However, for students who live further away, this can be quite an undertaking. Bethany is home to many international students, and the process of getting their belongings back home is far more difficult than it is for someone to just load up a large car and take their things. Those who own smaller cars or have no car at all have to make plans to move, and this process can at times be time-consuming. Dumpsters on campus are filled to the top as items are condensed and loads of items can be seen being carried out of buildings to take home. The end of the semester can be a stressful time, but many look forward to heading home and having a break from schooling for a few months.