The Final Girl

A Real-Life Horror Movie of an Overwhelmed College Student

By Jaina Gedeon, Film Critic 

Image via Wyatt Reding

23 credit hours, an on-campus job, an internship, writing for the school newspaper all led me to 12 hour or longer workdays, leaving no time for emotions. What could go wrong? Well, it feels like everything is going wrong. It may not seem like it from my good grades and extensive resume, but I created a day-to-day horror that I can’t escape. 

I am the final girl in a horror movie running away from the killer that has been tormenting her for the entire movie, but that killer is the growing to-do list on my computer. 

I feel like Laurie Strode running away from Michael Myers, and my Michael Myers is the mass amount of work that I must do every day. Or like I’m Nancy Thompson being hunted down by Freddy Kreuger when she is sleeping, just like the stress dreams hunt me down on a nightly basis. 

I am very lucky that I have a great group of people supporting me and I am grateful for that, but there is always that voice in my head that tells me to do more in an almost sadistic type of way. 

Many nights I find myself staring at the ceiling and trying to recuperate from the long day wondering why I did this all to myself and I always end up just convincing myself to sleep it off and the cycle continues. 

One of my favorite horror movies is “The Blair Witch Project” and there is a quote that resonates through me during this time, and it is, “I’m scared to close my eyes; I’m scared to open them.” Whether I am awake or sleeping, these stresses of getting homework done, securing a good job after college and hitting my deadlines never really leave my headspace. Finals never really seem to finalize. 

Imposter syndrome is another villain that hunts me down. Imposter syndrome is doubting your skills and feeling that everything you have achieved is fraudulent and you do not deserve it. That evil voice just tells me that I didn’t put in the work, and I do not deserve anything I get, even though deep down I know that I nearly break myself for all this work daily. 


Image via Compass International Pictures

Even with all this horror, I must remind myself that there is a final scene to my movie of college. 

One day I will be able to look back at my college years and be able to show myself that I was able to make it through and try to prevent making the same mistakes of overloading myself into adulthood. 

My biggest piece of advice to anyone whether you are in college or not is to take a break. At the end of the day, your health and wellbeing are way more important than if you were able to complete an extra project or work overtime. Being able to take breaks is not going to come right away. I am trying to still work on this myself. 

One of the best resources I have taken advantage of is the counseling center through UA. Talking through your stresses and problems works wonders whether you think you need it or not. I am a firm believer that everyone should go through counseling. 


As I enter my final semester of college in the spring, I am reminding myself to slow down and enjoy my last semester; but I’m afraid I am going to create my own Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger all over again with the final 21 credit hours I need to complete. 

At the end of every great slasher film, the final girl escapes the killer and makes it to safety, which for me, is my spring commencement. 

When I graduate, I am going to be able to impress colleagues with my two degrees and great job experience, but will it be worth it? 

I have no clue… the script is still being written.