By Monica Racicot

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!

Survival tips:


“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:

  • Stress Free Zone—Thursday December 1st in the Dixon Recreation Center Lobby and Student Lounge. Take a break
    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.
  • President’s Winter CoffeeThursday December 1st from 9:30 am to 11 am in the Memorial Union Lounge. Join President and Mrs. Ray in celebration and conversation with holiday treats and gourmet coffee. They are suggesting participants bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the OSU Food Pantry.
  • UHDS Moonlight Breakfast Sunday December 4th from 9 pm to 11 pm in each dining hall on campus. The breakfast is free to hall residents but you need to pick up a ticket from your RA’s in order to get the breakfast for free! For everyone else, the meal costs $6. The menu includes: Baked French Toast Sticks, Scrambled Eggs and Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Potato Triangle Hash Browns, Turkey Sausage Patty, Yogurt Bar, Granola, Orange Wedges, Coffee/Juice/Milk. Yum!





    By Alison Blazer

    Hello fellow Liberal Arts students! I’m sure you’re all just as excited as I am to go home for the upcoming holiday season. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, students begin wrapping up those last few classes and essays before they can head home for the most anticipated meal of the year. It is not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed during this upcoming week. For many freshman, Thanksgiving will be their first time leaving the Beaver Nation since CONNECT Week. I myself am an out of state student from California. My Freshman year I resided in Callahan Hall and couldn’t wait to get home to see my family, but when I realized that not only did I have to finish up all my class work, but also print a boarding pass, work my schedule around my shuttle reservation and “close up” my dorm room, I was immediately overwhelmed. Suddenly Thanksgiving was starting to feel like it wasn’t a vacation at all! I’m not telling you this to create anxiety about the holidays, but rather to tell you that it gets better with time. As a sophomore, I’ve been faced with this all before and am here to pass my knowledge on to you, so here are some tips on surviving the Thanksgiving mass exodus from Corvallis.

    1. Don’t bring schoolwork home with you. I know how busy classes can get at the Beaver Nation, but trust me when I say lugging huge textbooks home and intending to catch up on some reading, is an unreasonable goal. Get as much work as you can done this week before you head home, and then take these three upcoming days to spend time with your family and friends and clear your head, everyone needs a break every once and a while! Relaxation is good for the soul, and it’s a well-known fact that Thanksgiving comes at just the right time in terms of classes and busy schedules at OSU. Catch up on some R & R and come back to campus refreshed!
    2. Properly “closing up” your room is easier than it seems. If you’re living in the Residence Halls on campus, your RA should provide you with a sign out sheet. All of the items on this list need to be completed before you head home. When I was a freshman, I couldn’t believe that there was a checklist of how to leave each room, and was not pleased that yet another piece of paper was piled onto my To Do list.  Don’t worry- it’s simpler than you think. The checklist consists of things like close your window, shut your blinds, turn off all electronics and unplug them (refrigerators have to be unplugged and cleaned out for winter break, but they allow them to be kept on for the short Thanksgiving break). Make sure you set up a time for your RA to check off your room prior to when you plan to leave, meaning don’t run around the residence hall searching for your RA minutes before you’re supposed to be on a shuttle out of town. Plan ahead! For those of you who live off campus, it’s sometimes a bit trickier because there is no checklist handed to you. The main thing to keep in mind is saving energy, and saving money. Don’t leave appliances plugged in over break. They’re using up energy even when they’re not in use! Make sure all of your lights are off, heat is off and that you lock your doors properly on your way out.
    3. Travel safely! I may just be reiterating what so many of your parents have already told you, but please, travel safely home and back to campus over this holiday weekend. Being an out of state student myself, my travel plans for Thanksgiving include riding the Hut Shuttle (a reliable and relatively inexpensive way to get from the OSU Bookstore on campus to Portland International Airport for those of you who are unfamiliar), flying home to California, and then doing it all in reverse just a few days later. For those of you flying home, get to the airport or anywhere you need to be early! The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest air traffic day of the year, so plan ahead! I may be sounding a bit repetitive, but planning ahead for your own ventures is important. Even for those driving home for the holiday. If you’re driving, budget gas money, don’t leave when it’s already dark outside if you can avoid it, and carpool as often as possible. Having someone else in the car with you always makes the trip easier.
    4. Boost up that vitamin intake! Now it may seem silly for me to be promoting so much rest and relaxation, while also encouraging everyone to drink a lot of fluids and take an added dose of Vitamin C, but there is a method to my madness. Let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is not a long break from school. Having only two days of classes off makes for a four day break for the majority of us, meaning that our bodies are going to be stressed and exhausted from the process of travelling. As I’m sure many of you have noticed over the years, traveling is exhausting. Carrying your bags through and airport, driving for long periods of time, and then doing it all again just three days later can really take it out of you! So while it is indeed important for you to spend time with your family and rest as much as you can over break, I’m aware that for some people, spending time with family is anything but relaxing. To combat travel exhaustion, I suggest lots of water over the holiday season, and for those traveling on airplanes, I’d suggest some Vitamin C, a necessity that all college students should have handy.

    I hope my tips aid each of you in your first college holiday, and that you all have a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break!


    By Monica Racicot

    Hi students! Can you believe that we are just two weeks away from stuffing our faces with delicious turkey and mashed potatoes?! I for one am beyond excited. Before I get sidetracked thinking about how anxious I am to get a couple days off of school for Thanksgiving, let me tell you a little about myself.

    My name is Monica and I’m a senior, finishing up my B.A in Speech Communication. I was born and raised in San Diego, California and attended Palomar College for three years before becoming an official Beaver Believer. I know what you’re thinking….why in the world would I voluntarily choose to leave behind the beautiful Southern California sun? Good question.

    The truth is that I finished community college right when California colleges and universities were having major budget issues. To make a long story short, I was denied from the school I was certain I’d get in to. I was a psychology major at the time, and the school had very little space available for psychology transfer students. By the time I received the rejection letter, the California State and university applications were closed. I was then forced to reevaluate my plans for college, and consider applying to an out of state school. At first, I was horrified at the thought of being so far from my family and friends. My plan had always been to stay close to home. But the only constant in life is change and I knew I had to adapt.

    The decision then became Oregon or Arizona… and since I don’t enjoy extreme heat, Oregon it was! Interestingly enough, I didn’t even consider the University of Oregon. I applied to Oregon State, Portland State and Southern Oregon University and was accepted in to all three. Viking…Hawk… or Beaver? It was a no brainer.

    So here I am…orange and lovin’ it!

    I’d like to let you all in on some out-of-state transfer tips and tricks that I’ve picked up during my time here at Oregon State.

    • Transferring here from another state is expensive. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Stay on top of any financial aid or scholarship deadlines. If you plan on or have already taken out a student loan, make sure it’s suited to fit your financial situation and future plans. According to an article in the Daily Barometer this morning, the average debt of graduating undergraduates is $22,000. Be prepared.
    • Get to know your advisor and triple check your transfer credit. Most transfer students have a graduation date in mind and are looking to stick to a plan in order to graduate on time. Your advisor will be the most help in getting you there! Be sure to take a look at your Advance Standing Report and make sure everything is correct. I had to get an advisor to change a mistake on my MyDegrees profile because one of my math classes in community college wasn’t counted when it should have been. You have to be your own advocate!
    • Traveling home for breaks and holidays is a royal pain. Start looking at flights home for Thanksgiving and Christmas right when you get to OSU in September. It might sound crazy but air travel these days isn’t getting any cheaper. Depending on where you live, you may also want to consider Amtrak or Greyhound—they also offer student discounts! Try carpooling with friends to the airport to avoid paying $80 for the Hut Shuttle. It’s important to remember that it’s okay not to go home for Thanksgiving. It tends to be pretty costly for just three or four days at home. I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving since I’ve started college at OSU. Try making plans with friends who are local or also not going home. Shari’s here in Corvallis offers a turkey dinner that you can purchase for you and your friends! Oh, and if you have to fly to get home be sure to sign up for the airlines’ rewards program-it’s free and you can rack up points pretty fast if you go home every break.

    Even though Oregon State was never in my “plan”, I wouldn’t change going to school here for anything. And I hope all of you are enjoying your time here as much as I am!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy last few weeks in Fall term! Good luck on finals J


    Welcome to week 7! I’m Benjamin Wreath, a junior studying Speech Communication. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but dead week is coming way too fast for me. I am really starting to wonder how I am going to make it through finals week with my GPA intact.

    I know first-hand that it can be very difficult to get the grade you want in all of the 4, 5 or 6 classes you are taking. I have signed up for a baccalaureate core classes that sounded interesting at first, but turned out to be more challenging than the rest of my classes put together. My sophomore year I was doing poorly in one of my classes, and I really didn’t want to ruin my GPA so I considered dropping that class. I was at 14 credits, and this class was worth 3… It wasn’t possible. In order to keep my financial aid I had to be a full time student (12 credits or more). I had no idea what to do, so I made an appointment with my advisor to find out what my options were.

    My advisor told me how I can take a class, stay full time, earn credit for it, but not have the poor grade affect my GPA.  Did you know that you can earn as low as a C- in a class and not have it bring down your GPA?  Sweet deal huh? Little did I know you can do what students call “S/Uing” a class. This is where you can take a class and either receive an “S” or a “U” as a grade. It’s very similar to taking a class as pass or fail. Where you either, well… pass it for fail it. S/U stands for Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory. If you are able to pull off that C- in a class, or better, you get a Satisfactory grade. That means that you will get the credits from the class and it satisfies the area of your core without counting towards your overall GPA. On the reverse side, if you earn a “U” you won’t get any credit for the class, but it still keeps your GPA looking pretty.

    The process to S/U a class is fairly simple to do. All you need to do is go by the CLA advising office in 213 Gilkey Hall, have a pen in hand, and a “Change of grading basis” form from the Office of Registrar page found on our OSU webpage or from the CLA advising office. You need to get the form signed by your advisor and returned to the registrar.  All request forms must be submitted by the end of this week (week 7) so if you’re thinking about it you better hurry! Forms have to be received in the registrar’s office by Friday, November 11th at 5pm.

    I have only changed one class to S/U so far, and this term I’m about to bump my total up to two. Sometimes it’s hard to get the grade you want, even if you are giving the class your all. This grading system can give you the break that you need so that you can get the grade you want in your major specific classes. Remember though, once you change your class to S/U, it’s permanent, you can’t change it back even if you get an A in that class. I another friend that S/U’d a lab science her senior year.  She earned a D+ in the class, which would have satisfied the requirement for one of the lab sciences in the bacc core she needed to graduate, but because she changed the class to S/U, she did not get credit and had to take another lab science. S/Uing a class is a great option, but make sure to think it through and talk it over with your advisor.  It was a life saver for me!