Five reasons St. Edward’s should consider adopting a dead week


Juan Diaz / Hilltop Views

The infamous week is named for the copious amounts of stress brought on by finals.

Final exams are just around the corner. Be sure to check out the final exam schedule here. And if you also envy your UT friends for their dead week, read on for why dead days help undergrads revv up for the end of the semester.

  1. Extra studying time. This is tricky because there will undoubtedly be some students who will still study the night before their exam even if they’re granted a few days off from classes. But generally, I think students would take advantage of time off from class and pace their studying. Without dead days, you don’t have much wiggle room to prioritize your studying schedule. The brief weekend in between classes and finals also makes it tough to organize study sessions for group projects or group study with classmates.
  2. Better self-care habits. Though sleeping, eating and exercising is important for feeling energized and performing well on an exam, students are so pressed for time that each of these wellness factors take a hit. And while students can power through for the sake of finals, they can experience the “let down effect” afterwards. Psychologists describe this experience as your body boosting cortisol and other hormones during a stressful time. However, the lifting of stress causes immune system regulation to spiral, leaving students particularly vulnerable to illness. More time to prepare for our last tests and projects could potentially lower the extent to which students feel pressure weighing down on them.
  3. It’ll encourage professors to hold finals during the actual exam time. Many professors treat the last week of classes as a pre-finals event of sorts. Some have no choice because they fell behind on the syllabus schedule for whatever reason (weather, extensions, illness, etc.). But some professors just didn’t structure the class well and decided the week before finals would be a swell time to have major assignments due. Regardless, the pressure is on before the week even officially kicks off. Others ignore the final exam schedule altogether and hold the final on the last day of class– a practice that would be regarded with less normalcy if it wasn’t so close to finals.
  4. Holiday prep. A week off gives students a chance to more easily take care of logistical needs like travel plans and packing for the month away from their room in Austin. But it also allows us to take some time off from studying and take part in fun seasonal traditions like Trail of Lights or the Mozart’s light show.
  5. Most other colleges have it. I love the quirks of this university. The random porcelain animals, beginning with Fancy the dog, spread throughout campus. The view from the women’s restroom in Fleck. Boombox guy (only true 90s kids remember). On the matter of finals, however, the student body would benefit from conformity to other colleges.

It’s also important to recognize that dead days would help professors, too. Well-rested, exam ready students would make grading easier, and the overall course a lot more rewarding.