College Finals: Countless Cups of Coffee, But Can I Make It Through?

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By David Lovlien Jr.
David Lovlien Jr.

David Lovlien Jr.

The semester is coming to an end and we have all been pounded with work. It is my second day without sleep and I will be up all night writing essays, doing homework. To make things worse it’s 2:30 in the morning. Final exams, my first ones in college.

Exhaustion holds me hostage. I squeeze my eyelids open trying to not pass out. I cannot sleep. This is due tomorrow. My paper is titled, “Pre-Modern Russia: Tsarism? Or Bolshevism?” I just started writing at 9 after I scratched my other essay.

This is trash. I click the delete button and throw away two months of research and various drafts. How could I pass something in that did not truly intrigue me? I didn’t connect with the topic at all.

“BEEP BEEP,” my alarm set for every 20 minutes goes off again keeping me awake. I need to find a different way to stay up. Throwing my flannel comforter off, I walk downstairs to the kitchen. I open the refrigerator door and a chilly blast of air hits my face as I grab a cold bottle of water.

After I down the water, I grab the coffee beans putting I don’t know how many scoops into the coffee machine. I wait while it brews and gulp four cups of hot coffee.

I walk back up to my room. A monster is challenging me: my term paper. The caffeine hits me like a second wave. I can do this.

I gaze out my window. The black sky gradually turns purple. My phone goes off. It’s 5 o’clock. I rush downstairs again. My paper is so close to being finished, I just have to push myself the extra mile.

Downstairs I gulp five more cups of coffee, and face the ogre. At 6 I know I have to get ready for school. I can’t be late.

Typing like a wild man, the words and emotions start flowing from my head to my fingers where I illustrate a red picture of the 1917 October Revolution.

I’m awake, but the awful details of Bolshevism horrify me.  Russian history is a long dramatic fairy tale of glory, wars, murder, and tsars. I would like to focus my history degree more around a mystical northern land.

As I finish my paper and run through it a few times, the morning light creeps into my room. I hurry and make it to class. I feel like I died. I hold two extra-large coffees from Aroma Joes. I barely get through class and head home. I crash on my bed and sleep for 12 hours after two days straight with no sleep. Too tired for Bolshevist nightmares.

I am finished with all my papers. Relief, finally.

Working two jobs, getting an education, and balancing a social life can be difficult. It’s something that I am working on and I get better at it every single day.

But for now, I will enjoy the present. I’m rested. I tell myself to enjoy life even while working hard, all the while growing from granite.

David Lovlien Jr. is a high honors graduate of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy who is a freshman at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth. David is an active member on the New Hampshire Legislative Youth Advisory Committee and plans to become a lawyer. He writes a regular column, Growing from Granite, for


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