One of my least favorite things about finals week in high school was that I spent a lot of it alone. We got two study days, when we had to go to school but were free to study while we were there. Then, we got a weekend, and our finals began on Monday. By the first day of finals, I had spent four days in isolation with my books, notes, and computer. I was lonely. By the second day of finals, I was going crazy.

I was understandably nervous about my college finals. After a few years at Loyola, though, I find that I have no reason to be. Finals are so much more of a community experience. I’ve found the students and faculty very supportive, offering numerous study breaks with free food (sometimes, they bring in therapy dogs to pet!) Last year, some students ran around the library in Muppet costumes to make everyone laugh and feel a little better.

During finals at Loyola, the library is open 24 hours, which helps accommodate different study styles and the amount of work that students do during finals week. During my first two years at Loyola, I found that I really liked to knock out studying and papers during the first few days of finals. So, I’d camp out in the library for a couple days and finish a lot of work so I could spend the last few days of finals week resting. While staying up into the wee hours of the morning isn’t for everyone, I will say that between the hours of 4:00 am and 5:00 am, I found myself in an impromptu group dance party in the middle of the library. I got all my work finished, of course, but you can’t make up experiences like that.

This year, my study style has become more reshall-centric, and I’m more apt to study in my room. 24-hour quiet hours are enforced during finals so that students who maybe don’t want to spend time in the library can get work finished in their rooms. Several of the resident chaplains offer study breaks with good food, cheese, and holiday music, so I’ve never felt like I was missing out on anything.

Finals are a time of solidarity at Loyola—you can find comfort in the fact that you’re not the only student who has to go through the experience. Try not to get too stressed, though. Some of my most memorable moments of college happened during finals. Happy finals, and happy holidays.

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