The Clog’s analysis of your emotional security’s volatility during dead week

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Alright Bears, we have made it to the end of the semester. That was hella quick, yeah?

We now exist in a timeline that many of us know as “dead week.”

For some poor souls, you have class during this time when we are supposed to rest, read and relax. I send my deepest sympathies to you. For others, you are already deep in study mode, catching up on a semester where you half paid attention during your classes. You are probably desperately hoping for a last-minute review session or extra office-hours. For students who stayed on top of it, you may be reviewing notes and lessons from your classes, chilling and carrying on with your day-to-day life. And lastly, for the students who think the weekend before finals week should be enough time to study for your finals — you’re silly and I can relate. I’ve been there and it’s not a cute place to be. But have fun spending the week procrastinating, doing other activities or work and possibly partying. While the partying may be a little premature, I get it — it’s been a full semester. Regardless, I suggest using the week to be as productive as possible. Part of that productivity does include resting and taking good care of yourself.

This is my fifth dead week and by now, I have learned that this can be a very precarious time, especially for students’ emotions. I would suggest preparing yourselves to feel many moods during this tense time. No one’s emotions are completely safe during a high-stress time in such a pressuring, competitive environment. Not every student is affected by this climate and culture of high stress; some of us are able to keep ourselves together and stay stable. It seems that many of us, however, are devoured by the tensions of dead week. 

As I have witnessed and experienced, mixed, volatile mood swings seem to be the norm during this week. At some point in the week, some of you may be met with an immense wave of motivation. At a different time, you may feel that you’re falling apart. Your mood may jump from confident to conflicted. From sour to relieved. From overwhelmed to relaxed. Don’t worry, the volatility of your mood swings is something that many of us are feeling during the tense time that is dead week. There is so much work to get done, both for finals and in preparation for what’s next, whether that be winter break, planning for a semester off, studying abroad, looking at work opportunities or whatever else.

Dead week is a reminder that we are in the very last leg of yet another semester at UC Berkeley. It is crazy how fast each of them goes by. Dead week is also a misleading name because this is a part of the semester where I see many students working harder than they have in the 15 weeks prior to this point. Emotions are running high, but in a matter of days you will be done. It will be over and you get a five-week break from a semester.

Stick in there and remember to put the stakes of this time in perspective. Feel your mood swings, relax a little bit and remember that you have got this!

Contact Gina Wright [email protected].