First Exams Bring Anxiety and Relief

Students interviewed yesterday had mixed reactions to the pressures of the first day of finals, but freshmen were generally more anxious about their first Harvard exams than more experiences upperclassmen.

"It was harder than I thought it would be," Said Gregg Lueder '81. "You think you've prepared well enough, but the actual exam is harder to do under pressure."

"I was intimidated when I walked in to the exam, but now I'm very unawed," said Martha G. Finnemore '81. "I thought it was very straightforward and not as difficult as I thought it would be."

Like many freshmen, Michael Ruderman '81 found copies of previous exams helpful in studying. "It helped a lot to have old finals on record. I knew what to study for," said Ruderman.

Other freshmen complained of sheer exhaustion and expressed relief at the end of their first exams.

Some older veterans of Harvard finals were more philosophical and relaxed about exams.

Perhaps the most extraordinary response came from Nicholas S. Fish '80. "I'm less anxious and more confident about finals this year. Studying for my first exam last year was like my first sexual experience--too much, too late."

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