UMD students and McKeldin Library staff say many students are not getting rest during finals week

Students study on the second floor of McKeldin during exam week. Photo by Rachel Kalusin.

By Rachel Kalusin

During final exam week, students at the University of Maryland stress more and sleep less. As a result, some have expressed concern regarding this unhealthy living situation and the high expectations to do well.

Junior government and politics and economics major Aidan Lapierre said he had a hard time managing his sleep schedule and studying this semester. Some nights, he didn’t get any sleep.

“I think it is pretty bad for my health,” Lapierre said. “Every time I have pulled an all-nighter, I have become sick afterwards.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, pulling all-nighters can lead to difficulty concentrating, and actually worsen memory.

Rachel Gammons, who is in charge of Teaching and Learning Services at McKeldin Library, said she can feel students’ anxiousness as soon as she enters the building.

“There’s a tangible stress in the air, you can really feel it in the library. Finding space in the building gets competitive, and folks are just on edge,” Gammons said. “But there’s also a lot of support from students. I’ve seen a lot of camaraderie, and students just overall helping each other out.”

Robotics graduate student Karan Bhargava and senior information science major Charles Tam, who work at the TLC Tech Desk on the library’s second floor, have seen students prepare for finals in a variety of ways.

“Some people stay here all night and do not go home. They will lay across chairs and sleep or just sleep on the couches, wake up and keep studying,” Bhargava said.

The TLC Tech Desk is open 24 hours a day. Tam said he sees stranger things take place in the early mornings and late nights during his shifts.

“I saw someone once borrow our scissors and trim his beard because he did not have enough time to go home and shave,” Tam said. “I’ve seen people practically bathe themselves in the sinks here. They just don’t have the time to go home because they have a lot to do.”

Many students on campus have multiple finals on the same day. According to the Office of Registrar, the university will only allow a student to reschedule an exam if he or she has four or more exams scheduled on the same day.

Junior economics major Rachel Shea has learned how to appropriately study for exams, over the course of her three years at UMD.

“Taking a break once in awhile is the only way to ensure I do not go crazy,” Shea said.



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