The week before finals at many universities is dubbed “Dead Week,” supposedly because of how you will feel by the time the week is over (head over to the Wikipedia article for an interesting read). So the question remains: how dead is Dead Week?
Well, it really varies from semester to semester. In the fall, my dead week comprised of working deadline-to-deadline, having a project or a paper due from Tuesday until Friday. Needless to say, after many sleepless nights and almost zero time to relax, this picture epitomizes how I felt:
That’s my roommate passed out on the floor of his room after working on a project for quite a few hours. Thankfully though, I was able to find my bed before passing out to catch up on sleep after my monster of a week.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, sometimes your dead week can be pretty mild: you might have one or two papers/projects to finish up, but after that you are set to go to start studying for your finals the following week.
During dead week, the university mandates that you cannot have a test or quiz in any class because of the close proximity to finals. Some libraries on campus start to transition to a 24-hour open schedule through finals week, so you can always count on a nice, quiet place to study. It’s nice because sometimes you can pick up some free food/drink while studying. My freshman year, the reps from Red Bull walked into the library with cases of their product and just put them right onto one of the open tables. People from all over the library descended upon the table and within a minute, all of it was gone. When I was studying for finals in the Potter Engineering Library junior year, I got some free coffee, donuts, and snacks that were regularly put out by the staff there.
It seems like the university gets quieter as things wind down and people are finishing up their classes or studying for their exams. Although no one is a big fan of having tests, they are the final gateway to the freedom of summer.