Inside the Week of a U-M Senior: A Finals Season Mood Board

Ever wonder what a week in the life of a U-M student looks like? Read on to get the inside scoop of how a soon-to-be second semester senior spends their finals week.

By Maryam Masood December 8, 2021
Blog post - Inside the Week of a U-M Senior

In this blog, I take you through a week in my life preparing for finals as a senior at U-M. Note that I’m a liberal arts major who is enrolled part-time, works roughly 20 hours a week, and lives off-campus. Every student at U-M has a unique day-to-day experience. My schedule is different from someone in STEM, taking a full academic course load, or living in the dorms. Read on to hear about a week of mine. 

Monday, Nov. 29

I start off my Monday usually wrapping up any last minute assignments I didn’t get to over the weekend. It’s my first semester not having any classes earlier than 11:30 a.m., and I revel in having the time to catch up on work in the morning. This Monday, I caught up on some blogging for U-M Admissions in the Starbucks on South State Street.

From 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., I’m usually in class or a meeting, but in the afternoons I usually have time to rest or prep any assignments for Tuesday. This Monday, I’m low on groceries after being home for Thanksgiving, so I snagged some Chipotle and headed to Trotter Multicultural Center to do homework for a bit.

Mood: Frigid
Productivity (1-5): 5
Stress Level (1-5): 4
Sleep (1-5): 2
Pro of the Day: I redeemed a free coffee from Starbucks.

Snow outside my house in Kerrytown.
Snow outside my house in Kerrytown.

Tuesday, Nov. 30

Tuesdays are a moderate day for me work-wise. This past Tuesday, it was one of those rare occasions that I got a workout in before noon in the winter.

On a normal Tuesday, I usually spend the morning and early afternoon logging a few hours for my remote internship or doing any last-minute assignment for my 4 p.m. Organizational Studies research method class, which is like our senior capstone. It’s a three-hour class, and after that, I nearly always have a student board meeting for the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program (MRAP).

In place of a meeting this week, we held a joint panel with Students Organize for Syria and the Arab Student Association on refugee resettlement of Afghans in 2021. By the time it wrapped up around 8:45 p.m., I’m pretty wiped out. I would normally call it a day at this point, but since we’re in finals territory I worked through a few assignments for Wednesday morning.

Mood: Pensive
Productivity (1-5): 3
Stress Level (1-5): 3
Sleep (1-5): 3
Pro of the Day: The panel turnout — we’d been setting it up for weeks, and it all worked out!

Flier for MRAP’s joint November panel.
Flier for MRAP’s joint November panel.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

It’s the first of December, or rent day! Wednesdays are my busiest day thanks to back-to-back classes mid-day. I’m a little under the weather from poor sleep and the cold weather from the past two days, but I take the day pretty slow after classes and feel mainly recovered by Thursday. It's a blur of a day, but at some point I turn in my first final, get in a workout, and scroll through my Spotify Wrapped for 2021. Listening to the premade Tik Tok playlists definitely impacted my music recommendations for this year. (Apparently, I’m a fan of something called “dance pop”?) Later, during my afternoon workout at the Central Campus Recreation Center (CCRB), I listen to my Top Songs for 2021 and regret my music decisions.

Mood: Unfazed
Productivity (1-5): 3
Stress Level (1-5): 3
Sleep (1-5): 5
Pro of the Day: Cleaning my room.

Highlights from my Spotify Wrapped, strategically selected to avoid sharing my top songs.
Highlights from my Spotify Wrapped, strategically selected to avoid sharing my top songs.

Thursday, Dec. 2

Thursday’s main achievement was getting groceries. I usually use InstaCart to order them since I don’t have a car on campus, but I didn’t feel like paying the service charge and wanted to handpick some items for a change. So instead, I took a bus from the Central Campus Transit Center to Plymouth Road, which is about a five minute walk to Kroger. (Any bus taking the Northwood route should get you there — just download the M-Bus app and from there it’s pretty self-explanatory.)

While it wasn’t the most productive day in terms of preparing for finals, I got a workout in, ate a real meal, and FaceTimed a friend from high school. Overall, a lot of the stress I was feeling from finals earlier in the week was temporarily resolved.

Mood: Revived
Productivity (1-5): 3
Stress Level (1-5): 1
Sleep (1-5): 5
Pro of the Day: Homemade chicken pasta.

Friday, Dec. 3

I usually train clients at the gym for Recreational Sports a couple of times a week, and this week my sessions mainly ended up falling on Friday morning. Once I got back from the gym, I had a pretty slow day. In the early afternoon I attempted to get some work done at Hatcher Library with not too much success. In the evening, my roommates watched the cinematic masterpiece, “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” where Hillary Duff doubles as her own twin.

Mood: Snail-like
Productivity (1-5): 2
Stress Level (1-5): 1
Sleep (1-5): 5
Pro of the Day: Strolling around campus!

My usual view during my morning walk to the CCRB. 
My usual view during my morning walk to the CCRB.

Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 4 & 5

It’s finally the weekend! Saturday is another slow day for me. Other than the usual boring oscillation between doing work and eating food, I watch the start of the Michigan-Iowa game and then head to North Campus to watch a dance recital at the new Department of Dance building. The show is a super different type of dance than I’m used to, but it was cool to see. You can check out similar events happening at U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD).

Wall of past shows at the Power Center for Performing Arts.  
Wall of past shows at the Power Center for Performing Arts.

Sunday morning happens to be another day I have clients for personal training. After I train my Sunday client, I attend a few meetings for MRAP and my marketing class project. As the day winds to a close, I end it the way I always do — finishing the NYT Daily Mini crossword. After spelling “aioli” wrong six times, I decide it’s time to go to bed.

Sunday’s Daily Mini.
Sunday’s Daily Mini.

Mood: Senioritis
Productivity (1-5): 2
Stress Level (1-5): 4
Sleep (1-5): 3
Pro of the Day(s): Catching up with friends on Saturday after a week of being anti-social thanks to finals.

Maryam Masood

Maryam Masood (she/her) is a senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts majoring in Organizational Studies. During the year, she keeps busy managing the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program and working as a trainer at Rec Sports. Outside of class and work, she can most likely be found making another cup of coffee, procrastinating at the CCRB, or rewatching Kim's Convenience on Netflix.