The Worst Week Of College To Crash

The week before final exams is the most stressful week for students. It’s even more stressful for those students who do not manage their time as best as they should, or their workload is just too much to handle.

It always seems during that last week before finals there are more assignments and projects due than there was all quarter.  Not only do we have to study for our final exam, but we also need to finish the group projects, last minute readings, term papers, and online assignments. Sometimes it just feels like everything is on a critical path.

In class we learned that project crashing is shortening the duration of a project. When a business crashes a project they consider: the amount by which an activity is crashed, the shortened activity durations, and the total cost of crashing the project. I believe students do crash certain assignments or final exams in order to work harder on different ones. If I was taking five classes and two were easier, I would definitely put all my studying effort into the three harder classes to make sure I did well. I believe people do this on assignments too. Though I believe group projects are always being crashed because it always takes up all of the slack time until there is none. Everyone’s had a time when they had to meet with their group, but also had a paper due the next day and a final the day after that. The group meeting was supposed to take 30 minutes, but one person arrived late and the other one was confused to what was supposed to be done. The meeting then takes two hours which cuts into your slack time you had for your paper and final.

The risks of crashing a project can relate to the risks of giving one class more attention than the other. The risks associated with crashing a certain class final or assignment could cost you a lower grade. Crashing for a final would mean you didn’t study as much material, in the shortened amount of time that you know you should have. Yet, since you studied less it means you can give another class more time. Would it be worth it? A benefit, however, would be getting a higher grade in another class that you really studied hard for.

The week before finals week everyone is contemplating on what is more important to get done first. There is always way too much to do and never enough time to do it. During this dead week I know everyone is thinking to themselves “next quarter I’m going to it different and not wait until the end”. Then next quarter comes along and you say the same thing.

10 thoughts on “The Worst Week Of College To Crash

  1. I definitely think that finals, or even midterms, week is the worst week to crash. Yet we’re always forced to crash many things because of time constraints. In a way, this stress is good practice for the real world. We’re faced with time management decisions along with having to deal with the time management of others (whether it’s strong or poor), which will always be common in daily life.

  2. We do get stuck in the time of crises of making the best decision for ourselves during the midterm and final but it does help/train us to think on our toes and think fast. It is the matter of making the right decision or the wrong decision and if we learn from it for the future.

  3. This really cleared everything up for me about crashing. I was clear on it before but your example just made total sense to me. It probably has something to do with the fact that this describes me pretty well. I’m graduating in June and i’ve been saying this since the start of freshman year. Although I’ve come to realize that with certain projects and assignments, I do better if when I am under pressure. Choosing to put things off until the last minute are often frowned on. Time management is different for everyone, though, if someone waits till the end to complete something it does not necessarily mean they haven’t put a lot of planning into it. Crashing seems a lot to do with determining which items are the most important and need to be completed first.

  4. I would agree with you on the idea of crashing for important classes and all of us have done it all the time. In the corporate world it happens all the time as well. You have a deadline to meet however you have many different projects going on at the same time. You pick the ones that have the closes deadline and go with it until something else comes up. In a way crashing for exams in college prepares us for those deadlines in the corporate world. In real world those morning meetings which you think will only take 30 minutes usually end up 2 hours. This is because some people take their work home and others might not.

  5. Great job illustrating the crashing process. I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m operating at a better level when I’m in the process of crashing tasks to complete a project or operation (aka homework). Maybe its because I’m used to working under high stress high operations tempo environments that it doesn’t feel the same if I’m not crashing something. I have produced some of my best work/results when I have had to crash different tasks to complete an assignment. I think that it is especially important to know how you operate in such an environment and clearly understand your strengths and weaknesses before crashing multiple tasks to complete your project.

  6. This is a perfect analogy. To view finals week in an operation management sense almost makes me want to start managing my time better so that I don’t have to worry about the effects of crashing (but I know I won’t!). And I have to say, the whole argument that students work better with high stakes and the pressure to perform a lot of tasks in a small amount of time is not factual. Mistakes are always made – and just as most companies allow themselves crash time in order to achieve the best possible outcome, students time management will always result in better grades and learning.

  7. To a company, crashing a project is an important decision because a lot has to be considered. It has to determine the amount by which an activity has to be crashed, cost of crashing an activity, how many activities to crash, and the total crash cost has to be the smallest amount possible. Its no easy task but it has to be done when a project is behind schedule or when the completion time of a project has been moved forward.
    Like companies, we as students have “projects” that we have to consider to crash and Morgan cited how we might go through the process of doing so. When we consider crashing a particular assignment or project we take a risk that will have the least effect on our grades. I’m sure we have all done it but you know you have other things to consider when start crashing real early in the quarter.

    Happy crashing to all!

  8. I totally agree with you. It is unbelievable that every quarter lots of students (including me) go through the same. Crashing final’s week and expecting to do everything at the end is most of the time the worst choice, but for some people and in some cases it does work. Someone mentioned above that working under pressure works for some people; in my case I tend to do papers at the very last moment because when I try to start a couple of weeks before the due date, I find myself thinking I have more time to do it.

    Even though I am one of those that feel working under pressure works, I still believe that projects will be better when every step is done at its right moment.

  9. What a great metaphor to exemplify the critical path. As students, we can all relate to this time management issues we face at the end of each quarter. Some factors are in our control, but like you mentioned the group partner who arrives late, some factors just can’t be controlled. Yes, it’s the smaller projects that get the least attention, but if we look at the bigger picture time and resources can be spent more effectively on the entire thing.

  10. I, too, find myself sorting my classes out during finals week when our teachers sometimes pile on every type of homework assignment and projects on us. I try not to pick which class I will and will not try my hardest on because I want to get a good grade in every class, but sometimes it’s hard when some of my classes are harder than the rest because I have to focus on those classes more. Overall, I think that time management will solve this problem and we should actually avoid procrastination and crashing a project by making sure that we have put a specific time aside for each project.

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