At the end of each year, millions of college students are overjoyed that two of the best parts of the year go hand in hand: the winter holidays and exams. 

“I don’t know what it is about exams,” says Junior Rue Bryson. “They make me feel so Christmas-y and filled with holiday spirit. Ah, *giggle* I get excited just talking about them.”

It is no coincidence that the days leading up to Christmas are also exam days—universities know how boring the holiday season would be without the stress and endless work of exam week. “What would we do?” asks Junior Bryson. “At home, with our families on the days leading up to Christmas … I really can’t think of anything better to do than these exams. I’d be so bored without them.”

There are plenty of different types of exams to get excited for: math, science, English, and even history. Each type of exam is like a special Christmas present, for you never know quite what to expect. Some will be painfully long, while others will be worryingly short. Some will be laughably easy, while others will be suspiciously easy. Some will not be exams at all, for they will be essays. Essays are the real treat, because you can spend hours on them, even days! Sometimes essays will keep you working late into the night, which is perfect because that way you may see Santa Claus. I still believe, don’t you? We used to have paper exams, but now we have online exams, which are even better because they hurt your eyes from looking at the screen too long. As a reward for all that screen-staring, maybe you can buy a brand new pair of cute glasses! Super thick, of course, for you severe short sightedness.

“It kind of feels like winter exams are our professors’ Christmas gifts to us,” says Freshman Cole Jacobs. “Like … you never know what they’re gonna be, you’re nervous to see them, and you have to keep your true feelings about them a secret.”

Really, studying is the best part of the holiday season. Putting in long hours, day after day, instead of seeing your family or enjoying the snowit’s really something special.

“I don’t know who made the Academic Calendar,” says Jacobs, “But I’d really like to thank them. Especially for those few totally random weeks off in January. Those are action-packed.”

Professors feel the same way. A very real and legitimate poll of all the Professors at Umass Boston produced these fascinating results: 100 percent of professors would rather be grading exams than wrapping gifts or making gingerbread houses. According to the Academic Calendar, Dec. 28 is the day that all grades from the fall are due. It warms my heart to think of all those Professors grading throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Really, what could be more fun?

So this year, push aside those stocking, put away those sleighs, melt those snowmen, rip up that wrapping paper, throw away those ornaments, cut up those Christmas trees, tangle those lights, shovel that snow, spill that hot cocoa, scratch those Christmas CDs, block off the Chimney, throw water on those door-to-door carolers, turn off that musicand open up your textbooks. Nothing says Christmas like all A's. Merry Exams, and a Happy Stressful Year!

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