Students cram and camp out at Richter

It is 6 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, and the Richter Library is surprisingly populated. Students are scattered around typing furiously at computers, highlighting their textbooks at worktables, going over notes in a quiet corner at the back of the first floor or taking naps in the chairs underneath the stairs.

There is only one explanation for why students are acting so strangely instead of getting ready to party for the weekend: final exams.

“I’ve been sleeping four hours a night. I’m counting down the days till it’s over,” Kristi Wong, junior, said. “I have a 10-page paper and a three-page paper due and two finals in one day within an hour of each other – that’s why I’m freaking out. I think I speak for many when I say: Help. Please. Anyone?”

The Princeton Review recently conducted a study surveying 1,000 students from more than 150 colleges on how they survive finals week. Take notes; this could be the only chance you’ll get to copy someone else’s answers and get away with it.

Fifty percent of students claimed they use coffee and tea to keep them up all night. About 46 percent chose soft drinks when they were pulling all-nighters, and 16 percent used energy drinks, such as Red Bull, to keep them going – though the vodka isn’t recommended until after exams.

UM students have other tactics as well.

“Wake-up, start studying, wake-up, start studying, call in sick at work – literally,” said Alvaro Diaz, junior, suggesting ways to get through the hectic time.

“I have a 10-page paper and a three-page paper due and two finals in one day. . . Help. anyone. Please? “-KRISTI WONG, Junior

In an effort to help students get more study time, the Richter Library will be open 24 hours a day from now through May 13. To kick off these few weeks, Student Government [SG] and the Honor Council will be giving away coffee, cookies and pencils at the entrance of the library this Sunday at 6 p.m.

“The week before finals is when students need to study the most, since they have projects, papers and even exams that professors give before exam time,” Vance Aloupis, SG president, said.

This is the first year that the library will be open 24 hours a day before the actual finals week, which also means that students will be sleeping less and less at home and more and more at the library.

“During finals, people are very restless and they start doing funny things, especially during the night shifts,” Eduardo Abella, assistant librarian at Richter Library, said. “They start bringing in food, coming in pajamas and wanting to feel at home.”

Funny things? Restlessness? Now what could possibly be the cause of that?

Natalia Maldonado can be reached at

April 30, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.