Is Dead Week really necessary?

Across the United States, several large universities allow a week off before finals to help students prepare for a week of exams that might determine whether or not they will pass a class. This short yet precious time is known to college students as dead week. defines dead week as “the late night working and hardcore studying for finals that gives students a zombie-like atmosphere and causes an eerie silence and many blank, unseeing expressions.” Sadly, this is not a far stretch from reality.

I think that several students are confused about what dead week is since we do not observe it here at Sam Houston State University. Thus, I am going to take a moment to define what it is according to the universities that implement them. I have heard that it is a time when students get a whole week off to relax and study before finals, however, that is not true. Several universities have stated in their guidelines that during the dead week period, regular lectures are expected to continue, including the introduction of new content, as deemed appropriate by the instructor. So basically, it is just another week of normal lectures with new material and maybe getting one extra day to study.

The people who benefit the most from dead week are in fact those that are heavily involved in school organizations or those that live in dorms. Dead week regulations state that there will be no organization meetings for the week before finals and that dormitories will require silence 24/7, which would only affect a portion of our university. Further, dead week is known to cause more stress for students as they must prepare for the culmination of the entire semester through one final exam or project. Larger universities use this time to assign additional assignments and give students more projects, which means that dead week for them really is not all that dead.

I have heard rumors that many SHSU students are appalled that we do not allow this at our university. However, I find that somewhat ridiculous. I am a senior at SHSU and I am taking 21 hours, not to mention working a full time job. On top of all that, I have to take my finals early because I leave for a work event that lasts two weeks. So, as I am flying to Las Vegas right now for my work, I am debating both sides of the issue and find that if we want to do anything to help us improve our grades, we should allow three days of the week before finals as review days in classes and then have Thursday and Friday as study days. This will help improve grades by allowing us more time to comprehend the material.

However, if you are going to complain about not having enough time to relax before finals, even after you just had almost a week-long break for Thanksgiving, you need to reassess your college career. Two weeks off before finals would have a negative impact on students because it would give them too much down time and it would take away from students that need that class time. We are in college now. You are not supposed to be babied in college. The way I see it is if it takes you almost two weeks to study for finals, you should have went to class more.

To me, it is not fair to those kids that have worked hard and are investing a lot of money to assure that they excel in the classroom. I do agree that a weekend does not give us enough time to study for several different topics. However, by allowing a few extra days to study, it would help us as a whole because students would not be so tired. Either way, what happens during finals week is ultimately up to you.

An extra week will not change anything and I personally do not want to see teachers give us extra assignments like they do at larger universities. I want to wish everyone the best of luck and encourage you to be thankful for Red Bull, Starbucks and teachers that give us the day off.

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