Classic College Memes: Fun Things to do in a Final That Does Not Matter

Final exams at Ridgemont High, circa 1983.

Final exams at Ridgemont High, circa 1983.

The Internet is full of memes–lists, gifs, videos, and other things that often go viral–and that’s been the case since, well, since the Internet was invented.  A couple of weeks ago while cleaning out some old files, I found a few things and decided to spend a few weeks talking about memes that I first encountered in 1995.

This one is about 50 Fun Things to do in a Final That Does Not Matter

My academic record during my freshman year of college was less than stellar.  My first semester was a nightmare, as I earned a 2.5 GPA, the highlight of which was a D+ in Calculus II.  My second semester was significantly better, as I earned the 3.5 GPA needed to maintain the 3.0 for my academic scholarship.

I had two amusing moments happen during finals that year.  One was in the spring when I overslept my Politics in Literature final by 45 minutes.  I remember waking up, looking at the clock, and then jumping out of bed and grabbing whatever clothes and writing implements were available, all the while saying, “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.”  I ran across campus, was admitted to my exam and was riding such an adrenaline high (I probably smelled horrible too) that I was the first one done.  It paid off, though–I got an A- in the class.

The other happened during the fall semester.  As I said, I wound up with a D+ in Calculus II.  Why was someone who would go on to major in writing taking Calculus II?  Well, I had scored a 3 on the AP Calculus exam in my senior year of high school and Loyola had told me that if I took Calculus II I would also get four credits for Calculus I.  Not having the wherewithal to see that I didn’t need this and also not having the common sense to drop the class the minute things got tough (especially since I knew it had nothing to do with my major), I toughed it out and flirted with academic disaster through December.

That final exam was the hardest test I would ever take in my life.  I knew this going in and did what I could to get help from my roommate, Rich, who was studying chemistry and understood this way more than I did.  I then holed myself up in a study lounge.  That is, until I ran into him during one of my study breaks and he told me that he ran the numbers and I could get a 0 on the final and pass the class.  That was good enough for me and I made sure I got a good night’s sleep.

To this day I don’t know what my grade was on that final exam.  That I passed the class was enough and I never took math again.  In honor of that final, I give you another popular forward from the fall of 1995.  The author is unknown but I wish I had followed his or her advice.

50 Fun Things to do in a Final that Does Not Matter
(i.e. you are going to fail the class completely no matter what you get on the final exam)

  1. Bring a pillow. Fall asleep (or pretend to) until the last 15 minutes. Wake up, say “oh geez, better get cracking” and do some gibberish work. Turn it in a few minutes early.
  2. Get a copy of the exam, run out screaming “Andre, Andre, I’ve got the secret documents!!”
  3. If it is a math/science exam, answer in essay form. If it is long answer/essay form, answer with numbers and symbols. Be creative. Use the integral symbol.
  4. Make paper airplanes out of the exam. Aim them at the instructor’s left nostril.
  5. Talk the entire way through the exam. Read questions aloud, debate your answers with yourself out loud. If asked to stop, yell out, “I’m SOOO sure you can hear me thinking.” Then start talking about what a jerk the instructor is.
  6. Bring cheerleaders.
  7. Walk in, get the exam, sit down. About five minutes into it, loudly say to the instructor, “I don’t understand ANY of this. I’ve been to every lecture all semester long! What’s the deal? And who the hell are you? Where’s the regular guy?”
  8. Bring a Game Boy (or Game Gear, etc…). Play with the volume at max level.
  9. On the answer sheet (book, whatever) find a new, interesting way to refuse to answer every question. For example: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it conflicts with my religious beliefs. Be creative.
  10. Bring pets.
  11. Run into the exam room looking about frantically. Breathe a sigh of relief. Go to the instructor, say “They’ve found me, I have to leave the country” and run off.
  12. Fifteen minutes into the exam, stand up, rip up all the papers into very small pieces, throw them into the air and yell out “Merry Christmas.” If you’re really daring, ask for another copy of the exam. Say you lost the first one. Repeat this process every fifteen minutes.
  13. Do the exam with crayons, paint, or fluorescent markers.
  14. Come into the exam wearing slippers, a bathrobe, a towel on your head, and nothing else.
  15. Come down with a BAD case of Turet’s Syndrome during the exam. Be as vulgar as possible.
  16. Do the entire exam in another language. If you don’t know one, make one up! For math/science exams, try using Roman numerals.
  17. Bring things to throw at the instructor when s/he’s not looking. Blame it on the person nearest to you.
  18. As soon as the instructor hands you the exam, eat it.
  19. Walk into the exam with an entourage. Claim you are going to be taping your next video during the exam. Try to get the instructor to let them stay, be persuasive. Tell the instructor to expect a percentage of the profits if they are allowed to stay.
  20. Every five minutes, stand up, collect all your things, move to another seat, continue with the exam.
  21. Turn in the exam approximately 30 minutes into it. As you walk out, start commenting on how easy it was.
  22. Do the entire exam as if it was multiple choice and true/false. If it is a multiple choice exam, spell out interesting things (DCCAB. BABE. etc..).
  23. Bring a black marker. Return the exam with all questions and answers completely blacked out.
  24. Get the exam. Twenty minutes into it, throw your papers down violently, scream out “Fuck this!” and walk out triumphantly.
  25. Arrange a protest before the exam starts (i.e. Threaten the instructor that whether or not everyone’s done, they are all leaving after one hour to go drink)
  26. Show up completely drunk. (Completely drunk means at some point during the exam, you should start crying for mommy).
  27. Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the instructor asks why, tell him/her in a very derogatory tone, “the light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea is hooked up to a clapper. DUH!”
  28. Comment on how sexy the instructor is looking that day.
  29. Come to the exam wearing a black cloak. After about 30 minutes, put on a white mask and start yelling “I’m here, the phantom of the opera” until they drag you away.
  30. Go to an exam for a class you have no clue about, where you know the class is very small, and the instructor would recognize you if you belonged. Claim that you have been to every lecture. Fight for your right to take the exam.
  31. Upon receiving the exam, look it over, while laughing loudly, say “you don’t really expect me to waste my time on this drivel? Days of our Lives is on!!!”
  32. Bring a water pistol with you. Nuff said.
  33. From the moment the exam begins, hum the theme to Jeopardy. Ignore the instructor’s requests for you to stop. When they finally get you to leave one way or another, begin whistling the theme to the Bridge on the River Kwai.
  34. Start a brawl in the middle of the exam.
  35. If the exam is math/science related, make up the longest proofs you could possibly think of. Get pi and imaginary numbers into most equations. If it is a written exam, relate everything to your own life story.
  36. Come in wearing a full knight’s outfit, complete with sword and shield.
  37. Bring a friend to give you a back massage the entire way through the exam. Insist this person is needed, because you have bad circulation.
  38. Bring cheat sheets FOR ANOTHER CLASS (make sure this is obvious… like history notes for a calculus exam… otherwise you’re not just failing, you’re getting kicked out too) and staple them to the exam, with the comment “Please use the attached notes for references as you see fit.”
  39. When you walk in, complain about the heat. Strip.
  40. After you get the exam, call the instructor over, point to any question, ask for the answer. Try to work it out of him/her.
  41. One word: Wrestlemania.
  42. Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.
  43. Try to get people in the room to do the wave.
  44. Play frisbee with a friend at the other side of the room.
  45. Bring some large, cumbersome, ugly idol. Put it right next to you. Pray to it often. Consider a small sacrifice.
  46. Get deliveries of candy, flowers, balloons, telegrams, etc… sent to you every few minutes throughout the exam.
  47. During the exam, take apart everything around you. Desks, chairs, anything you can reach.
  48. Complete the exam with everything you write being backwards at a 90 degree angle.
  49. Bring a musical instrument with you, play various tunes. If you are asked to stop, say “it helps me think.” Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging the instructor to find the section on musical instruments during finals. Don’t forget to use the phrase “Told you so”.
  50. Answer the exam with the “Top Ten Reasons Why Professor xxxx Sucks”
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One comment

  1. Holy Crap! I thought the 100 ways to mess with your roommate was funny….But I had to comment on this one because I’m in the middle of grading midterm exams! By the way, I proctored a test where the kid did a #47. Almost as funny as my admitting to everyone in the teachers’ room yesterday what I did on my last “check-in” round to see if my kids had any questions. In the last ten minutes of the exam, they’d call me over, desperately trying to pull a #40. I examined the question and said, “Nope, try again…” The reality is that i didn’t have my glasses on me and couldn’t see a damn thing they were pointing at.

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