Today is Reading Day, which is the day after classes have ended and before final exams begin. Typically this is a day where you see not a ton of foot traffic on campus – none of the usual crowds of people during times when classes change. Most of the traffic you might see is into/out of the ZSR Library and a few other frequently-used study spots (I’m looking at you, Farrell Hall).
Starting now, and through next week, you’ll see a distinct change in our students’ sense of style. For our young women, you’ll typically see less makeup, more ponytails. Fewer cute dresses and skirts, more workout clothes. For our young men, you’ll see fewer of them clean shaven and more of them sporting 2-3 day stubble. You get the idea. Everyone slacks off a bit because the focus is all on studying, studying, studying – or final papers and projects due.
If our students can get past the immediate thoughts of their finals, they might be anticipating a trip to the beach. Post-exams (aka Beach Week) is a time-honored tradition here, where students rent houses or stay in hotels along many of the beaches on the NC and SC coasts. Sometimes, just knowing you are going to be in great place surrounded by friends in a week’s time can help you get through the strain of studying.
Another way our students make it through finals is because we have a fantastic group of librarians and staff who host Wake the Library, which is a 24/7 operation during exams. Your students can eat at midnight, take part in yoga and other relaxation opportunities, etc. Tell your students to follow the Wake the Library action and get in on it!
And Deac families – always helps to get some pick-me-ups from home. Whether that is a text or a call or a card or a care package, your students will appreciate hearing from you.
Finally, encourage your students to practice good self-care during the stress of finals. That means eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and get out and get moving so they get some exercise. While it sounds counterintuitive to take extra time for a walk or a healthy meal or to lose an hour of studying in favor of sleep, they will likely fare better on their exams if their bodies and minds have had been well cared for.