With finals week just around the corner, college students are occupying many of Merced's most popular coffee shops with their textbooks and exam study guides, prepping for the busiest week of the semester.
A routine visit to those cafes will, for the next week, be a lot less convenient than usual, with many students filling the tables with laptops and lecture notes.
After a seemingly quick semester, the entire campus community has started preparing for finals. In fact, many professors started giving their exams and assignments far in advance of the official week designated for finals.
Although most students are able to handle the stress that comes right before winter break, there are many who rely on the activities and tips provided by the university to help them get through the week.
UC Merced's H. Rajender Reddy Student Health Center remains available to students during finals, providing massage therapy and wellness activities.
Although the health center remains under construction, students can access all regular services at the northwest corner of the building on Muir Pass. The services offered at the health center really come in handy for students who fall ill during this stressed-out period.
During my years at UC Merced, one of my favorite finals week traditions has been the therapy dogs that are normally on campus to provide some relief. Often advertised as an event to "pet away finals stress," it allows students to stop by and spend time with the dogs during study breaks and in between finals. For many sleep-deprived students, it serves as a much needed distraction.
Perhaps one of the most convenient aspects of finals week is the additional library and Lantern hours. With access to the library until midnight the entire week, students will certainly have all of the materials they need to help them get through finals -- successfully. Often, students rest in the Lantern, which is right below the library, instead of traveling home for a quick nap before the big test.
With hardly enough time for sleep, many students also rely on campus events during finals week for the "grab-n-go refreshments" that are always made available, especially during tutoring sessions.
Students should look out for the e-mails that most likely will be sent over the weekend informing them about what will be offered during finals week.
Although students seem scattered during the early parts of the semester, this week, college students most likely will be packed together in study groups in preparation for their upcoming exams.
Monday marks the first official day of finals, bringing with it the consumption of lots of coffee and energy drinks, some sleepless nights, plenty of stress and an all-out push to do well.
Alexis Footman is a senior at UC Merced and is majoring in psychology.