Chelsea Asplund/The AS Review
Photos by Joe Rudko/The AS Review
It comes every quarter just when we think we’re safe. Much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, it lurks out of the foggy waters in one fluid motion, waving its lethal arms in the air, almost as if it is mocking us. No matter the preparations we take for it, it seems to always catch us by surprise.
Dead week, a phrase on campus for the week before finals, is the last chance for students to make or break the quarter. The library is overwhelmed with study groups and not an empty computer is in sight. A strong sense of panic and anxiety hangs over campus and the second a student steps off a bus, they feel it.
So in the realm of this week upon us yet again, how do students manage to get past it all?
Fun and Games
For sophomore Christina Johnson, her first experience of dead week last year made her understand its reputation.
“I soon realized that every little thing starts piling up and that’s when you start to feel a bit dead,” Johnson said. “I feel now that the name is extremely accurate.”
As a vocal performance major, Johnson said the largest final exam she prepares for is her jury assignment, where she will have to prepare four to five music pieces and perform them in front of faculty.
“The best way to really prepare for the unexpected is to get together with someone and have them play a faculty member,” Johnson said.
Besides preparation, Johnson said her favorite thing to do during dead week is to reminisce about her childhood by playing with two Velcro pads and a Velcro ball. In the past, her and her roommate would sometimes disrupt their neighbors in the dorms by jumping on their beds and playing catch.
“I noticed that I was much more focused after a bit of some fun,” she said.
For sophomore Dylan Koutsky, the only way he can survive dead week is by getting rid of distractions completely.
“I’m planning on deleting all the distracting apps like Facebook from my phone so I can completely focus on studying,” he said. “I will also be frequenting all the cafés on campus for their drip specials.”
Koutsky admitted that while he cuts out distractions, he also has to allow himself designated time to give his brain a break. He usually spends any time not studying watching his favorite television shows online, allowing himself to get lost in another reality.
Now in his second year at Western, Koutsky said dead week has lived up to its name.
“It seems like by the end of the week almost nobody is fully-functional and the only thing keeping them going is knowing that break is only a week or less away,” he said.
Making Time for Other Things
For the past five years, senior Sara Leister has learned a thing or two about taking midterms, surviving dead week and getting through her finals. While she recognizes her strengths in studying, she knows she has to remember to make time for herself.
“I’ve learned to always make sure I have time every day to go home,” Leister said. “I always schedule at least an hour for time at my house to spend with my roommates and my friends. Without that my life would be so much more stressful.”
When it comes to dead week, Leister said she appreciates the blunt reputation its name has harvested.
“I appreciate it because being here your first quarter, you don’t know what to expect and you get kind of intimidated by the whole dead week thing,” she said. “It’s good. It’s kind of like a shock you’re in college, and you’re going to be working so much harder this one week.”
The Associated Students Disability Outreach Center is hosting “Finals Got You Down? Well Get Up!” The event is designed to help students de-stress before finals. It will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1 in Viking Union 565 and will consist of board games and free food. Information from Western’s Counseling Center about test anxiety and stress will also be available, with a counselor doing a 20-minute talk on focused relaxation and visualization.