Dead Week.

Since coming to Alma College, I’ve discovered something.

I am one of the only people that calls the last week of classes Dead Week.

Now, I’m not a native of Michigan. I’m from the corn state of Indiana where most of my high school friends went off to Purdue and Indiana University. I was mocked my senior year for choosing to go to Alma, and I was even laughed at when I spilled hydrochloric acid on my Alma shirt in my AP Chemistry class. (The worst part about that ordeal, besides the holes in my precious Alma shirt, was the fact that my dad was my teacher.)

Many of the big universities, especially the ones like IU and Purdue, call the last week of classes Dead Week. I guess I kind of adopted it.

That means that this week is… drum roll please… Dead Week.

Dead Week always has that kind of dark glamour to it. Everybody is super excited because, hey, it’s the last week of classes! After that, it’s just exam week! And once your exams are done, you can go home for Christmas! Which for me means going to Florida with my parents, where my mother hinted that we might go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I will probably die of happiness at the gates.

But Dead Week just isn’t a happy yay last week of classes! gig. It’s also that moment of “Oh crap. I have to study for all of my exams and turn in all of my projects and get everything done and live in the library and Highland Java isn’t nearly open enough, not that they’d have enough coffee anyway.”

Last year I made a list of what Dead Week and Exam Week look like at Alma College.

1. Grab all of the books and notes you own.
2. Spend an hour trying to find a place to camp out in the library, buy something with caffeine from Highland Java, and praise the extended hours.
3. Spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube, or whatever you’re into.
4. Actually do your homework when you realize it’s midnight and the library closes at two.

Sound about accurate? I thought so.

Last year I started a Dead Week tradition that could probably only happen at Alma College.

I started carrying my eighteen year old vintage stuffed Simba around with me everywhere I went.

This is Simba at my carrel, which I like to call The Procrastination Station.

Simba goes with me everywhere during Dead Week. He has his own pocket in my backpack where his head sticks out so people can pet him. I take him out during class and set him on my lap where I can pet him and hug him. Most of my professors don’t mind that I come in every day with a giant stuffed lion. It’s Dead Week, after all.

Simba’s favorite places on campus are the library where he can sit on my carrel and look over my homework, and Saga, where lots of people come to pet him.

When you have eight billion things to do, you don’t remember what your room looks like because you’re spending so much time in the library, and you forget to eat dinner, it’s nice to have a piece of something you love with you wherever you go. For me, that would be my giant stuffed Simba.

Find something that can make Dead Week and Exam week bearable. It doesn’t have to be carrying a giant stuffed animal around everywhere. In fact, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it; people tend to stare at you and when you find out that your professors haven’t seen The Lion King, you get filled with an unhappy righteous indignation. (Because obviously The Lion King is the best movie ever and every single professor should have seen it by now. I mean, it’s been out for eighteen years.)

It’s Dead Week. There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot going on. You have ALL OF THE PROJECTS! And papers. And exams. But it’s only a week and then it’s exams!

We can do it! Simba agrees.

And if you happen to see Simba at Saga this week, he really does appreciate people petting him. And I also love to meet new people. So come say hello!

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