Walking Zombies: Rockhurst Students Before Finals Week

          Your alarm goes off at 7:30 in the morning, and you rise from your bed like a zombie rises from the grave.

          While getting ready, you are well aware it is not going to be like any other school day. Kids are seen nervously leaving the dorms and townhouses at 8:15. Picking up the pace, you try to quickly run through everything in your head as you make the long and chilling walk to your first class. Most students are already sitting in their spots, anxiously waiting for what the future holds. Before long however, you realize there is a paper on your desk and a pencil in your hand.

          Finals week has arrived.

          It is the heart pounding, mind numbing, coffee drinking time of year. It is the dreaded week of finals, or as students like to refer to it as, “hell week.” It is every Rockhurst student’s worst nightmare. All the material being presented throughout the semester comes back in the form of one awe-inducing test.

          What does finals week consist of at Rockhurst? How should one prepare for finals week? What advice can teachers offer?

Finals Week Schedule:
          At Rockhurst University, Finals begin this year on Wednesday Dec. 10, and these notorious tests conclude on Tuesday Dec. 16.

          Each final is given a two hour time slot in order to ensure students have an ample amount of time to finish their final comfortably while still applying their best efforts. The tests are typically administered on the same day as your class normally is, but since every class lasts two hours for instead of the original time, the classes are not usually at their regularly scheduled times.

          Rockhurst does a good job posting the finals schedule schedule significantly ahead of time to figure out how to best arrange your time. That helps to ease some common worries students have to deal with during the week, because so many students are juggling multiple commitments at once.

Preparations for Finals Week:

  • Get adequate rest prior to and during finals week

    • It has been proven that you remember and retain information much more efficiently when you get a sufficient night's sleep after a busy day of studying

    • Sleep recharges you and lets stay strong for more than one day

    • Do not stay up all night and study

  •  Do not procrastinate

    •  Do not try and study for multiple finals at once

    • If you have three finals on the same day, per Rockhurst policy, you may politely ask one teacher to move one to a different day

    • Study ahead of time

    • Study intensely for short periods of time

    •  "I always retain information the best if I start studying two or three days ahead of time, " said Nick Distefano, a senior biochemistry major at Rockhurst University.

  • Make sure to take frequent study breaks

    • Most studies show one hour is the optimal time for studying followed by a short break

    • These breaks allow your brain to recharge and retain the information

    • "If I do not take a brain after I have been studying for a while, I seem to lose focus much easier, " said Elizabeth Hobbs, a junior at Rockhurst University.

    • Take a walk, play a game or chat with a friend

    • Frequent study breaks lead to a much more calm approach

  •  Eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids

    • Drinking plenty of water allows your brain to function at a high capacity

    • Eating healthy foods keep you focused and prevents you from crashing

    • Avoid sugary foods

  • Stay focused on the task at hand

    • Go some place where you know you will be productive

    • Avoid friends if they might distract you

    • Keep all distractions like music, the television and cell phones to a minimum

    • Make a list of what you need to get accomplished as far as studying goes

Advice from a Professional

    “Students need to remember that quantity does not replace quality," said Dr. Janet, a history professor at Rockhurst University. " It is more important to have a productive study session, then one that lasted for five hours.” “The biggest thing for students to remember is that if they enter this week with the mindset of trying to learn something then they will get the grades they want." "They have to study with the intent to truly learn the material.”

Follow Up

          The key to finals is preparation; follow these steps and advice, and you will succeed. Otherwise, who knows? You may end up still looking and feeling like a zombie.



Check the Time

     Students are often surprised to find out that the library hours change during finals week. For added convenience, the new hours of the the library are listed as well as alternative places to study in Rockhurst and around Kansas City, in general.

Library Hours

     -Monday through Thursday: 7:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.

     -Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

     -Saturday: 12 p.m.  - 4 p.m.

     -Sunday: 12:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Learning Center Hours

     -Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

      -Friday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Alternative Places to Study at Rockhurst

     -Science Center Resource Center

     -Science Center Computer Labs

     -Science Center Cubby, located on the third floor

     -Sedgwick Classrooms

     -Basement of Conway

Alternative Places to Study Outside of Rockhurst


     The Roasterie, for hours please click here









The Key to Acing Finals: Sleep

          Sleep is always precious, but especially when your body is under stress, such as during Finals week.

Sleep has numerous  benefits including: It helps to fight off colds, aids in memorization, and it can improve moods.

Some tips and remedies to try in case you get stress insomnia are:

  • Drinking warm milk

  • Reading or studying before bed

  • Turn off your television, computer and phone at least two hours before bedtime

  • Sleep in a dark room

  • If you are having trouble sleeping at night, you can take naps

  • Naps should be 30 to 45 minutes long and occur in the early afternoon

  • For more tips, please click here


Some Quiet Places to Study

These Learning Center Tutors Would Like A Word With You

Eating Smart

     Preparation beforehand is stressed during finals week. Whether that would be going and talking with teachers or studying ahead of time, preparedness is key.

     What if preparedness referred to more than that though? Eating smart is also relevant to perform at the absolute best.

     Here are some ideas of what to eat and what not to eat before a final:

What to Eat:


     -Protein bars



     -Peanuts or cashews


What not to Eat:



     -Energy drinks

     Foods that are deemed healthy are optimal for consumption before finals. A happy stomach leads to a fully functioning brain. "I always end up going to Taco Bell for finals week every year, and I immediately regret it," said Raunak Singh, a junior at Rockhurst University. There you have it. For alternative ideas, please click here.



Students Eating At The Midnight Breakfast

She Is Hard At Work