At CMU, the semester ends on a Friday. That day Activities Board, the only student-led campus organization that holds campus wide events hosts the semesterly extravaganza called End of the Semester. The campus basketball gym, Wiegand Gym, becomes a hub for fun! And sweets! At the front of the gym, there are trays full of mini cheesecakes. I love the cookies and cream ones. All over the gym, there are inflatable bounce houses. One inflatable house holds a competition among competitors who must jump over a giant rotating turnstile. If the turnstile knocks you over, it’s game over. There are also a couple of giant inflatable slides, where you’ll see college students bouncing with smiles on their faces.

I definitely would recommend that when the semester ends, take a day off! You need a break. You deserve it. You want it, take it. Trust me, you’ll have time to study and you’ll be better primed for Finals Week by taking some Me Time. Do what you got to do to recover. Read. Scream. Meditate. Pray. Sing your favorite song. Eat your favorite food. Whatever it is, do it.

I definitely would recommend that when the semester ends, take a day off! You need a break. You deserve it. You want it, take it.

When you start studying, don’t cram! On average, I have 3 finals per semester. I’m really messy sometimes when it comes to planning schedules. If you can relate, then hear me out. If your academic success center holds scheduling sessions during the last week of classes, take advantage! You’ll meet with an academic coach/tutor who will guide you through planning your finals studying schedule. Some pointers: prioritize! On the tests that you really need to do well in, spend some more time studying for those. And if you can study with a group, even better! No study buddies? Then email the Blackboard or Canvas page for your class. Other classmates are likely also looking for study buddies, even if it’s just for Finals.

The campus during finals is awake with activity. When I head to the gym to run on the treadmill, the gym is full of other students blasting their stress away through lifting weights, dance and running. Exercise is a great stressbuster.

Another campus event is Almost Midnight Breakfast, which is on the Sunday before Finals begin. It’s an exciting event because staff from Residential Education, the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) and even the University President stand in front of the long line of heated metal trays to serve hundreds of students. On the menu is a ton of veggie and turkey sausage patties, scrambled eggs and enough French toast for a month of breakfast. I got to meet then University President Subra Suresh my First-Year was an awestriking moment. Although he only asked me how studying has been going, I felt like I met a celebrity.

On Tuesday night, the campus hosts Almost Midnight Acapella. Hundreds of students, graduate and undergraduate, fill the seats of McConomy Auditorium to enjoy musical compositions by various a capella groups on campus. All the groups are incredibly talented. A campus favorite is the group the Originals; students also love Counterpoint and C# Singers. Joyful Noise, the Christian-focused a capella group is a crowd pleaser. With Deewane, the South Asian a capella group, the crowd fills with excitement as Punjab and Bengali music and rhythms are combined to make palpably energizing music; it’s hard to stay in your seat when they perform. The performances remind me that although Finals are difficult, the campus never forgets that Finals are only for a few days. Fun may pause, but we never forget to enjoy ourselves.

So, don’t forget to give yourself a break. Now for the final push, give yourself enough sleep every day to do your very best. After that final Final, rest on your laurels, champion! You are incredibly valuable just for being you. Congrats on completing a whole semester’s worth of class.