5 Reasons Why Dead Week Is Not Really Dead Week

5 Reasons Why Dead Week Is Not Really Dead Week

Dead week is not the week to slack off.

At the beginning of my freshman year in college, I had no idea what “dead week” was. After asking around, I was told it was the week before finals, where teachers were not supposed to give out quizzes or major assignments or even have any regular classes. This was supposed to be the week where students were allowed time to study and prepare for finals week, but dead week is definitely not a time where things are even close to “dead.” There are so many reasons why dead week really shouldn’t be called dead week.

1. Final Projects are due

This is definitely the week where professors think it is a great idea to make all major assignments due. Now, this big assignment was probably assigned weeks ago and could have been done before dead week, but who are we kidding, that project will be done a few days before it is due, and the entire dead week we will just be stressing about turning it in.

2. Class presentations

Not only are projects due, but some professors assign class presentations during this week. Presentations are never fun. They are even worse when they are a week before finals week and worth half your grade.

3. Classes aren't canceled

Whoever told me that classes are usually canceled during dead week was a liar. During dead week, classes are still a thing. It may even be very crucial to your grade that you go, because some professors do in-class review.

4. Quizzes

As if a final wasn’t enough to stress about, professors decide to hit us with pop quizzes. The minute I was handed my first quiz during “dead week” I was convinced dead week was a myth.

5. Studying for Finals

Dead week is the time when the library starts buzzing with college students trying to study for finals. It is also the time when it begins to settle in that finals are a week away, which means we only have a week to study an entire semester’s material. How fun.

Dead week could be referring to how “dead” and exhausted college students feel during this week, but dead week is not the week to slack off. Even though finals are approaching, try to remember that we will get through this dead week and finals week together!

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What I Learned From Writing On Odyssey

There was a lot to learn!

Before writing on Odyssey, I have only read a few articles on their website. They would show up on my Facebook feed every now and again, and every so often, I would click on them. I never really gave much thought to who wrote the articles or why they wrote them.

During my junior year of college, I made a decision to write on Odyssey.

I knew a few people who wrote on Odyssey and asked them if they recommended it. Most of their responses were overwhelming yes. I decided I was willing to try it out for myself and I applied to be a weekly contributor.

As a Writing Arts major, I knew just how important it was to put my writing and myself out there. The only writing I have done before that point was for class. This included writing for blogs and creative writing. Even though I enjoyed writing enough for me to choose it as my major, I always felt that I did not do enough of it.

I did not have a lot of experience with writing for something weekly and writing for something that would potentially be read by a large audience. I did have a few classes that required me to create a website and run it like a blog, but I did not have any experience with me trying to run my own blog.

Something that I learned from writing on Odyssey is the best way to improve your writing skills is to write frequently.

Writing on Odyssey has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to put out new content every week.

Even though it can be difficult sometimes judging, writing on Odyssey, and all of my other obligations, I have come to thoroughly enjoy my experiences with writing for the website.

I have learned a lot of about what it means to be a content creator as well as how to publish and market your content online.

I also really enjoy how the contents of my articles are not constrained by any single type of genre. I get to write about things that are interesting to me at the time. It really gives me an opportunity to get my work out there.

I have also learned a lot about writing from reading other content creators on Odyssey. I have learned a lot about what kinds of content is interesting to different audiences.

It has also forced me to be more creative on a weekly scale. One of the biggest problems I had with writing was that I constantly waited for the "right" moment to get started when, realistically, there was no right moment.

Overall, I do recommend writing on Odyssey on your campus!

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To The Anxious, Excited Incoming Freshmen, From A Tired, Nostalgic Second-Semester Senior

Make the most of it.

I remember the days when I was just moving into my freshman dorm three years ago. I met my roommate via Facebook, I read all the Odyssey articles about the first semester of freshman year and was the spokeswoman for Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I was ready.

Or so I thought.

Reading all of those articles and being so excited, I never stopped and thought about what I actually was going through. I can safely say I wasn't 100% prepared and honestly — who actually is? I'm about to graduate in May and I can also safely say I'm not 100% prepared for "the real world."

I wish someone would write an article or tell me what I need for this next chapter in my life, but it really doesn't work that way. As you grow older, there's not going to be someone holding your hand or directing you in the way they want you to go. You forge your own path.

However, as a second-semester senior, I can honestly tell this class of 2022 how they can prepare their young minds for college.

Research clubs and organizations you want to join.

This is a biggie. Coming into college, I was just nervous about making friends. But if you get on your university's website and browse their organizations, it's going to make a HUGE difference. Your university will most likely have a student organization fair. Virginia Tech has over 700 organizations/clubs on campus and they have a huge fair at the beginning of the year. Research ahead of time so you know what you want to join. This is also extremely important if you want to get ahead in your major. Joining a pre-professional organization like PRSSA, FBLA, or an honor society looks great on a resume as a freshman. Take it from me.

Know the dimensions of your room and what to bring to school.

Do bring those extra clothes hangers. Do not bring your third pillow from home. Trust me, there are some things that are necessary and some things that you will not touch three days in. When you're packing, just ask yourself, "have I used this in the past month?" And if you haven't, you won't use it in college. And this also applies to clothes — seasonal, too.

In August, you're probably going to need shorts until mid-September to the end of September depending on where you live. You also need to coordinate with your roommate (you'll know ahead of time) about room dimensions. How are you going to set up the beds? Bunk beds? Loft beds? Beds across from each other? My dorm room had built in closets so we had to work around that. Make sure you both agree on the room layout.

Make friends in the Class of 2022 page, or not.

Honestly, getting "acquainted" on those Facebook pages can be beneficial but sometimes it's not that important. I remember people talking in the Facebook comments on my class page and then I never saw them again. Unless you're sitting next to each other in the same class, chances are you won't recognize them by their profile picture. It's always best to get to know the people you'll be going to school with for the next four years and also seeing who's in your major... but also if you don't really use Facebook, it's fine too if you don't wanna.

On that first day of move-in when your parents leave, just make sure you're social and leave the door open! Don't feel awkward about it—it's a great way to make new friends.

Don't be closed off.

Chances are you're coming to college with either very few people from your high school or none at all. If you go to an in-state school there is a bigger chance a big group of people is coming from your high school, but either way, open yourself up to making new friends. College is about making NEW memories and you can't make new memories with the same friends.

I'm not saying ditch your BFF who you came to college with, but at least talk to your hallmates, classmates, and people around you. If you seem closed off, not talking to anyone because too shy, or always leaving the door shut, people won't come and talk to you.

Call your parents, because they love you.

Hey, you're not the only one who's making a huge life transition. Your parents will miss you a lot. You're their world and it's hard letting you go off into the real world for them. Do them a favor and call them. And not just parents. Call your grandparents. They don't have a lot of time left and would love to hear your voice and hear all the "young" memories you make at college.

Don't be afraid to say "yes."

Just like not being closed off, don't be afraid to make memories. Live it up. Go out if you want to. Say "yes" to going out. Say "no" to going out. Join that club that seems weird. You might meet your squad. If you want to run for student body president, DO IT. Don't be afraid to! Go Greek. You'll make tons of memories. I came to college three years ago scared and timid. Three and a half years later, I'm still that scared and timid girl, but with a brand new personality that is stronger and "wiser" because I said yes to rush. And now I'm in an amazing sorority with great friends. Even though it might get a tad annoying, I still don't regret my rush experience.

Make mistakes.

You will inevitably make mistakes in college. You're 18 years old! Even at 21 years old, I make mistakes. Do I regret them? Of course. I am human. I have anxiety about them. It sometimes keeps me up at night. I'm not going to say try to move past them, but instead, I will say just drive right over those little (or big) speed bumps. Those mistakes will be your drive, passion, and motivation to be a much stronger and more capable human being.

Make the most of these four years.

I went out. I experienced things. I met my best friends. I got into fights with my best friends. I studied all-night for that exam. I failed that exam. I made Dean's List. I got an internship. Or two. I worked. I was broke. Whatever you do, looking back on the three and a half years I had, I can safely say that I made the most of my college years. Yes, I do have regrets that I didn't go hiking as much or I didn't participate in that event. Do those things you thought you never could do.

* * *

So, if you're still nervous about going to college, in a pile of sweat still by the end of this article, or just rocking back and forth in the corner of your bedroom scared til' no end, then remember that you can do this.

Cover Image Credit: Jonathan Daniels, Unsplash

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