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At any other major university, the week before finals would be deemed ‘dead week.’ Think of it as sort of post-Thanksgiving, pre-winter break vacation, during which students spend five blissful days free from any classes, homework assignments or extracurricular activities. But as our finals week approaches, with testing beginning even on Sunday for some students, it’s clear that the University of Colorado at Boulder doesn’t support giving us time to study or de-stress for the hectic end of the semester.
Instead of a dead week, university officials are giving away free stress kits (full of hand sanitizer, Emergen-C and green tea) like candy. There are free yoga sessions and workshops to create your own stress ball being held around campus. And even though we get visits from therapy dogs at the libraries, I’d much rather have a week to myself to study and relax.
Freshman Jaela Zellars agrees that, although she would much rather spend time with her family, she thinks a dead week is necessary to succeed during finals week.
“I’m trying to keep up with notes at the same time I’m trying to study for my finals so I don’t fail those when they occur next week,” Zellars said. “I’m writing papers at the same time, and it’s a lot. I feel like if we just had that nice week to just focus on studying and everything, and not have class, it would be a lot easier.”
The original motivation to instate dead week at colleges across the country was well-intended, though some students use the time for a Netflix binge or to party every night of the week. Out-of-state students sometimes argue that they’d rather power through to finals week so they can go back home.
Our school should definitely institute a dead week. The awkward two-week period between Thanksgiving and finals week calls for a bit of free time. Regardless of whether students use dead week to study, it would be crucial to our success on our final tests, projects and exams. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to catch up on all the sleep we missed out on throughout the semester.
Either way you frame it, the week before finals will always be known as dead week. It can either be university-sanctioned and worry-free, or it can be made up of a horde of zombie students powered by sheer will and a 12-pack of Red Bull.