Oh finals, how I miss you not. The never-ending stress, the mass amount of papers you need to write, the inhuman amount of caffeine you need to ingest simply to pass. Really, the only upside of finals is being able to justifiably get shwasted right after your exams are done, even if that's in the middle of the afternoon.
But while students are going through the hellish experience that is finals, it's life as usual for the rest of the city. That isn't to say us average citizens of the city don't notice something is somewhat amiss, especially when living near university campuses or a student-populated borough.
And let me tell you, interacting with a student who's going through finals is never pretty. Generally, they're sleep-deprived, angry at the world, and on the brink of a mental breakdown, all of which is drama you definitely want to avoid.
So, for everyone who wants to circumvent the dark pit that is anything to do with exams (a student will pull you in if they can, if even to just complain), myself and current-student Miranda Cipolla bring you an easy way to spot a Montreal student during finals.
They're a young twenty-something in the Plateau wearing nothing but sweats.
Finals cares not for fashion, and the only time a hip youngin' would be wearing something so un-trendy as sweatpants and a sweatshirt in a hip borough like the Plateau, you can rest assured they're going through finals. Unless they're an engineering student, in which case sweats is pretty much the faculty uniform.
Walking in the street, you can smell a strange aroma of BO, malnutrition, and utter defeat.
Otherwise known as "eau de finals"
You see someone walk into a cafe, only to survey the entire place, peer beneath all the tables, then leave.
No, they're not checking for bombs or attempting to scope the dick game of the fellas present. It's just a simple fact that if a cafe doesn't have any outlets, then it doesn't have a student in it.
You notice a rare upsurge of Facebook posts from a friend.
Procrastination is key, here. Such posts can come in the form of videos of cute puppies, rants about North America's socio-political climate (looking at you poli-sci students), or inspirational quotes. Whichever one, they're usually accompanied with an "FML, should be studying" somewhere.
When walking to the metro at 8am, you spot someone on their computer through a cafe window. When walking back home at 6pm, the exact same person is there, in the exact same position.
No, this isn't a glitch in the matrix, you've just spotted a student. Because if there's one rule to studying outside of the library during finals, it's that once you find a spot, you never let it go.
And when actually on the metro, you find someone napping against the window, with course pack and highlighter in hand.
When you have no time to sleep, students need to get creative with their allotted nap times.
You overhear someone brag-crying about pulling an all-nighter on the bus.
Only a student going through finals would have the audacity to make an all-nighter seem like an accomplishment. This is truly the worst outcome of finals, as school has officially made that student feel proud to be a tool of the post-secondary education system.
Looking behind you in line at Tim Hortons, you notice a twitch in the eye of the person to your back, along with the vague sense that they murder someone at any moment.
The need for caffeine is real, and so is the desire not to spend much money, hence the Timmies shout out.
You spot someone ravaging their A&W/McDonald's/Thai Express while hurriedly walking down the street.
Who has the time to cook? Who has the money to afford healthy food? Not students during finals, that's for sure.
They're drunk in the streets, calling out "lets get more shots" to their small squad...at 2pm.
When you get a text saying "OMG just finished, lets get wasted!" you must comply, even if you still have studying to do. It's a student rule.