Have you ever thought about why college campuses refer to the week before finals as ‘dead week’? I find the term ‘dead week’ to be really silly because the week before finals at Oregon State is anything but ‘dead’. Here is the academic regulation that talks specifically about ‘dead week’. “No final, midterm, or comprehensive examinations shall be given during the week preceding final examination week”….interesting. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a comprehensive test Monday morning. I like to think of the week before finals as dead week because once it’s over; my mind will be dead… right in time for finals.
Why ‘dead’ week?
Dead week may be the last week you must attend classes but it is always jam packed with projects, papers, quizzes and other “last minute” assignments that professors so carefully scheduled together to all be due on the same day.
In many universities, a common tradition for dead week is called “The Primal Scream,” where students open their windows and scream at the top of their lungs at the same time, which is usually late at night. Why scream? To release all the frustration of not getting enough sleep because we have to study all night long. Oregon State needs to hop on this train because screaming at the top of my lungs sounds like a fun way to vent!
“I try to study in the library or lounge during dead week rather than my dorm room. It helps me get serious and get to work when I’m not lying across my bed talking to my roommate.”
Isolate yourself from the outside world in at least one way. Go study in the library or a lounge. Leave your cell phone in your bag. Turn off your internet. Put headphones in to drown out surrounding noise or listen to some calming music.
“I always have a cup of coffee or tea when I study, not for the caffeine jolt, but for the comfort of having something warm to drink.”
Indulge in one thing that keeps you sane during study sessions. Sipping some coffee, nibbling on some crackers or doodling in your notebook in between flash cards will give you a release from studying, if even for thirty seconds.
“I make a “to do” list, (which always appears threatening at first) and organize the items on it by their due date or exam date. Then I buckle down, reread notes, skim chapter summaries, and try to find friends to study with.”
Prioritizing with a checklist will help eliminate test anxiety since you will be able to properly schedule when you will study for each exam. If you get bored studying for your next exam or you are tired of the material, take a break from it and move on to the next item on your checklist. Knocking out each item and crossing them off the list is almost as good a feeling as turning in a final exam.
“I make sure to take breaks, and I usually treat myself to something, like a trip to the mall or a yummy dessert.”
Unwind after cramming for that upcoming final by pampering yourself. As college students, we rarely have the time or money to really do what we want, but give yourself a pat on the back with some kind of reward. Walk to your favorite spot on campus to relax, get some ice cream at the Creamery, buy yourself something new (even if it’s nothing big!) or even head to the gym to release some of that tension. Whatever it is, make sure you find some way to relax as the week goes on and finals begin!
What OSU offers for students:
from studying to gain healthy, relaxing habits for success on finals. They will be offering massages, food, raffles, and de-stressing activities. The Stress Free Zone goes from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.