For most, the end of the semester is a welcome relief – a chance to head home and celebrate the holiday season with friends and family.
But for one campus group, the end of final exams is a disappointment.
“This time of year is always a letdown,” Wharton senior Raven Rawlings said. “Final exam week is a crushing time for any student’s soul and overall well-being. I’m sad it’s over.”
Rawlings is the President of Penn Masochists, a campus group which serves a forum for students who enjoy the pain and suffering that comes with the human experience.
The club, founded by a group of polio-stricken undergraduates during the Great Depression, currently consists of 30-35 members.
“Happiness and pleasure are social constructs,” College sophomore and club secretary Ethan Dunham said. “The primal rush of agony is the only way to know one is truly alive.”
So, while college life is often filled with socially and intellectually enriching experiences, club members look forward to the stress and disappointment that comes with finals week.
“This semester, I intentionally enrolled only in classes that had at least 40% of the grade dedicated to the final exam,” Rawlings added. “Thankfully, I even managed to have three tests on one day.”
The group’s meetings, which occur at 7:30 AM every Monday, serve as an opportunity for the students to share their highlights of the week.
“I remember one week my freshman year when my sister was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and I suffered a compound fracture of my femur within a span of three days,” Dunham said. “I just couldn’t wait to tell the guys at our GBM.”
So, as they head home for break, members of the group can’t help but look forward to things to come.
“The weatherman says it will be 20 below in my hometown of Buffalo this weekend, which should be nice,” Rawlings said.
“And after all, the post-holiday letdown is only weeks away.”