The Importance Of Dead Week

The Importance Of Dead Week

WKU has dead day, but it simply isn't enough.
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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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Who's Jim and who's Meredith?
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The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

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Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

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Wofford College

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Furman University

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College of Charleston

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Medical University of South Carolina

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Even After Family Weekend, I Haven't Gotten Homesick And I'm Not Ashamed Of It

It's really OK.

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Now that we have successfully drifted into October, I am about a month and a half into my freshman year of college.


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As the leaves on the trees start to change colors and the skies start fading to grey, Family Weekend rolls around. As a preface, I used to live in Connecticut. I think it's safe to say I still #BleedBlue even after living in South Carolina for my high school career. Regardless, it's safe to say me attending the University of Connecticut is a little ways away from my parents and cats.

That being said, the last time I saw my mom and dad was move in day. Exactly six weeks without seeing my dad or giving my mom a "huggie". I have been away from home before, for example I went to Ireland and Scotland this summer for a week with a teacher from school and a few other kids that went to my high school.

I don't miss high school and I enjoy living in a dorm with my amazing roommate and hanging out with people pretty much everyday and just doing my own thing, but it's weird not coming home and seeing my parents every night.


I mean look at those twoElizabeth Dunn // Personal Photo


See, I can't describe this as home sickness, because I talk to my mom on a pretty consistent basis, she sends me pictures of my cats, and I just haven't had that cloud of sadness over my head because I miss home. Not to say I haven't been sad in college, stuff happens, but it hasn't been like what sooo many other people talk about it to be.


my four cats on my parent's bedElizabeth Dunn // Personal Photo


Even now, a few days after seeing my parents, I miss the people not the place. I'm not going to guilt trip myself over this either. I think it's healthier! It was super nice to hang out with my parents again. I got fed well and spent a night off campus for the first time since I got here. Another positive was not having to jump out of my bed the next morning or wear shower shoes while showering

I'm hoping while writing this, that the stereotypical home sickness doesn't catch up to me in the near future (preferably not at all).


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Even just six weeks in, I feel like I have grown as a person and changed. I will say it was amazing to see my parents, but I'm glad I'm away from home being able to blossom into an educated young woman.

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