The Importance Of Dead Week

The Importance Of Dead Week

WKU has dead day, but it simply isn't enough.

At Western Kentucky University, Wednesday is the most coveted day of finals week. After the first two grueling days, we get almost a whole day to buckle down on sleep, studying, and Netflix. An unlucky few are chosen to do finals that evening, but for most of us, it is our last hope for survival.

Despite having our “dead day” to prepare, for many, it simply isn’t enough to guarantee a successful week with minimal stress. While intense studying was happening in all corners of the university for the past few weeks, having full school schedules the week before finals adds so much stress to students’ lives, that finals week isn’t full of review and extra prep.

Instead, it has become a panicked race to review the past few weeks of information, learn additional chapters, and finish homework assignments. Quite a few other universities have exchanged their dead day for the dead week and have gotten incredibly positive response among students. Its time Western Kentucky University adopts similar policies.

In 2009, Georgia Tech asked their students if they had enough time to study leading up to finals week. Not only did 68% percent of them say no, 83% of them addressed being overly stressed the week before. While Georgia Tech had loose policies preventing faculty from assigning major projects during that week, there were no enforcement mechanisms.

This paints the same picture we see on our own Hilltopper campus. Large assignments, projects, papers, and hours of class time the week before tests that can make or break our grades. Georgia Tech decided to create different policies in response to their students. By simply banning quizzes, labs, exams, and major papers the week before finals (unless those assignments are alternate finals) students are having a much better finals week.

They have since become famous for their study week that ends with students all screaming together at midnight. A school that was ranked as one of the most stressful now has amazing reviews for how well students can prep for finals.

The idea of a dead week, whether it entails continuing class or not, isn’t that students can’t handle assignments and review. Instead, it is the idea that universities set up students to have a great finals week. Eliminating extra coursework might just fuel the procrastination of some students, but for many others, it creates the perfect environment.

Students can spend their time talking to professors, buckling down on notes, or picking up some hours with tutors. Their state of mind transitions from a rushed cramped schedule into framing and preparing for the future. Even when keeping up with coursework, we need time to go over sometimes an entire semester of work. Not only did I have biology assignments to complete last week, but I had to review 48 chapters for a compressive exam. I have friends who not only had to prep for five exams but also had multiple 2500+ word essays to complete. I was fortunate enough to have a light course load going into finals, but I witnessed too many students’ efforts of balancing work, assignments, and finals prep last week ending in tears and dropout contemplation to know this is too much.

Not many universities have made the decision to lighten courses the week before finals, but in places where dead weeks have been enacted students have felt better going into their exams. Even if there is no evidence claiming it improves test scores, the fact that it positively impacts the mental health of students is enough to start modeling similar policies at WKU.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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Mom, This One Is For You As I Leave For College

Thanks for being my best friend.

Dear Mom,

it feels like yesterday that we were jumping up and down in the kitchen while tears of joy ran down our faces as the college acceptances started rolling in. You tagged along on my campus tours and wrote the pros and cons while I listed them off as I paced back and forth trying to make the decision of where my home would be the next four years. As six months till move in day has now turned into less than two weeks I just have a few things to say:

First, I'm going to miss you! Yes, I reminded you every couple of days how close we were to move in day and I've said several times that I can't wait to start this new chapter in my life but, I'm a lot sadder than I let on. In the midst of my excitement I have ignored the thought of not being able to see you everyday, being able to sing in the car with you to the songs we know we can kill, eating popcorn while watching Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, or even something as simple as sharing a meal with you.

Secondly, I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Mom, I appreciate everything you have done for me thus far in life. I appreciate you dealing with the stressful side of me that came out while dorm shopping, when I know I didn't make it easy. Thank you loving me and encouraging me these past several years that made me into the person I am today. I am grateful for the sacrifices you have made and will probably make in the future with my best interest in mind. I feel so blessed that you are my sunshine on my cloudy days.

Third, I want to apologize in advance. I know there will be times I'm too busy to come home some weekends or even talk for an hour, despite really wanting to. There will be days filled with stress when I don't want you to know about the test I failed earlier that day or about the argument I had my boyfriend or roommate. Don't take any sass or delayed texts to heart, because you know I'll always call you back, I'll always break down and need your direction, and I'll always need to hear your voice.

One last thing, you will always be my best friend. You are the person who I get all of my advice from and the one who can make me laugh when all I want to do is cry. You turn my bad days into great ones. I can't wait to make you proud as I continue my education and start this new chapter in my life but, I hope you know it's all because of you. Your constant love, support, mother-daughter meals, advice, jam sessions in the car, hugs while I've cried and laughs to make me smile have all made me the person I am today. A person proud to be your daughter and a person who's ready to start college. So, mom, this one is for you!

Thank you!

With love,

Your Daughter.

P.S. thank God for FaceTime, am I right?

Cover Image Credit: Hayley Hughes

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5 Emotionally Devastating Thoughts You Only Have When You're Almost A College Senior

If you thought that high school went fast, just know that college goes by 10 times faster.


If you thought that high school went fast, just know that college goes by 10 times faster.

One minute, you're picking out accessories for your dorm, and the next, you're planning for your final trip back to the city you have called home for the past three years. As your college journey comes to an end, you can't help but reflect on all of the friendships, memories, and life lessons you have learned along the way.

Here are the top eight thoughts that every soon-to-be college senior has when they think about their final year at their beloved university.

1. When someone asks you if you are really going to be a senior already

Here you are, at another family gathering, when someone asks you yet again if you are REALLY going to be a senior this coming year. The two of you go back and forth discussing the fact that it feels as though it was just yesterday when you received your acceptance letter.

This conversation sparks a deep thought: Where has the time actually gone? You have done a million different things with a variety of people, yet at this exact moment, it all seems to be one big blur.

2. When you realize how hard it is to actually get a job

Every single college student has the idea that as soon as they graduate college, they're going to find an amazing job and chase their dreams. It's at this time that we finally realize just how difficult this is going to be. So many of your friends have graduated before you and are still on the hunt to find the perfect job. Maybe it's really not as easy as it seems.

3. When it finally sinks in that senioritis is 10 times worse in college

We all remember the times we claimed that we had "senioritis" back in high school. Well, whatever that was, it doesn't even come close to what we feel now. The college workload is way more than anything we dealt with in high school and we can't imagine just how hard it will be to push through when we know that graduation is just around the corner.

4. When you realize that this is the last time you and all of your besties will be living in the same state

College would be absolutely nothing if it weren't for the amazing friends that have been there with you. They've stuck around through the good times and the bad. The thought of a life without them is almost unimaginable, but you still try to piece together what your life is going to look like without them right by your side. These friends have truly turned into your family and have made this new place feel as if it is your home-away-from-home.

5. When you think about all of the incredible memories that college has given you

No matter how frustrated we may get over typical college drama, we will never forget all of the amazing things that college has done for us and given us. As we reflect back on the past three years, it is hard to think of leaving the place that has introduced you such amazing people.

It is easy to get wrapped up in a whirlwind of emotions when this very special chapter in life ends. Even though we are so excited for the future, it doesn't make saying goodbye any easier.

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