Q&A: Students Talk about Finals & Semester’s End

Squirrels, an example of the many forms of wildlife that can be spotted around campus. Photo credit: E. Dustman

As grade point averages seem to hover suspended in space during the last week of the semester, students at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville are hunkering down with notes, snacks, and caffeinated beverages in preparation for final exams. A question and answer with students revealed how they plan to prepare for the “daunting last week” and what they enjoy most about being a student at SIUE.

When it comes to finding that perfect place to study, countless students mentioned the library as their “go-to study space.” Grant Beeler, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, stated that he spends the majority of his time in the library during the weeks up until final exams. “The library is a clean, quiet space and that is just what I need in order to study for my finals.”

While some students prefer a quieter environment, about half said they like to study with music on, citing its ability to enhance mood and increase motivation. Junior Maika Miller enjoys compiling the perfect playlist to set a positive mood and sophomore Deryk Whalen commented, “Studying with jazz or classical music on really improves my focus.”

Outside of studying, many students are finishing up final projects and papers while making use of campus resources like the Writing Center located within the Student Success Center. Other students have learned over the course of the semester just how important communicating with their instructors has become. “I have been talking to my professors more, making sure to clarify what it is I am confused about before final exams week,” said first-year freshman, Juliet Arnold.

Interestingly enough, consistent among students is a self-imposed ban on cell phone use. Most attest to the distracting nature of their phones and that they must, put it away, turn off, or even place their devices in another room. “I have to study without my phone or I will not get anything done,” stated Olivia Hutchcraft, an undergraduate in the Speech-Language Pathology Program.

Of course, breaks are necessary during these intense study sessions and a number of students mentioned setting reminders to take them every hour. Even with the cooler temperatures, some still take breaks outside. The Quad was a favorited area among students and with many spending their breaks outside walking among “the beauty of all of the trees on campus.”  Freshman Logan Fisher stated how much he enjoys observing all of the wildlife on campus, namely the squirrels, and Amy Farroll, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that her favorite thing about campus is how much beauty it has to offer.

As one semester ends to usher in another that will soon begin, one thing is consistent here at SIUE—the wonderful community that takes shape each and every year right here on campus. “The community is a very welcoming and warm community,” said Computer Management and Information Systems major, Seth Carroll. Students continually expressed their appreciation for the diverse mix of backgrounds, nationalities, perspectives, and life experiences of the faculty, staff, and students on campus. “My favorite thing about this University are the people. Everyone here is so friendly and I have met the most amazing people in my time here so far,” said freshman Jerry D’Amato.

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