Finals Week and Why it Shouldn’t Also be Housekeeping Week


By Zach Breeding, Editor in Chief

I want to preface this article by saying that I don’t set out to answer any of the questions raised, merely give the questions a louder voice with which to reach someone capable of finding a solution to the problem.

Finals week is a time dreaded by almost all college students (except those in Gen Eds because those aren’t real finals). It is a time in which (baring emotionally traumatic events) young adults can be put under the most stress that they have ever experienced. It is a week where they potentially gamble a semester’s worth of tuition on whether or not they pass some tests.

Understandably this can put the student into a state of stress where they are not thinking their best due to rampant sleep deprivation and the necessity to pass the tests which can make up a majority of one’s grade in their classes.

To combat this, a recent trend at universities across the nation has been the implementation of “stress relieving activities” during and leading up to finals week. This trend is incredibly popular and students at McKendree seem to enjoy all of the events put on year after year. Services offered to students range from increased counselling opportunities and the library being open 24/7 to dogs in the library and free food at midnight. All of these services require a huge commitment of money and resources from the university.

Why then are we shelling out all this money on bringing in therapy dogs, and giving away metric tons of McNuggets in the name of stress relief if we’re simultaneously forcing these students to undergo one of life’s other big “stressors”: moving out.

Study[1] after study[2] demonstrate the psychological effect of moving out on the mind, and this effect is compounded on younger minds or minds that are already under a lot of stress.

The move out process is not exactly made to be stress free either. Student’s RA’s are breathing down their necks day after day reminding the students of all of the menial things they have to do to prepare for move out. To add onto this they also show up randomly at one point in the week and grade your room letting you know of the hundreds of dollars in fines you could possibly accrue if you don’t find some time to fix the minuscule holes in your wall while also managing to prepare for finals.

So, why is it that while “de-stressing” the students is seemingly such a huge priority to the University do they mandate that students be moved out during the same week? There must be a more sensible option than to impose upon students the catch-22 of “Don’t get too stressed out, but also get the hell out of our dorms or get fined”

[1] “The Health Consequences of Moving from Place to Place.” The Health Consequences of Moving from Place to Place | Scholars Strategy Network, 1 Aug. 2017, http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/brief/health-consequences-moving-place-place. Accessed 14 Sept. 2017.
[2] Coley , Rebekah L, and Melissa Kull. “How Housing Matters.” MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL. Policy Research Brief

One comment

  1. Excellent points, Zach! I don’t know the reasoning for the move-out policy. Perhaps there is a good rationale, though in academia it is often a matter of “that’s how we’ve always done things.” It seems reasonable to give students until the Monday following exam week to clear out of dorms. Also, some schools have a “dead week” policy: no exams or other graded work is due in the week before exam week.

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