Tune into Reading Day

By David Rothmund

Today is Reading Day. It’s the one day when students have no scheduled classes — a 24-hour break before final exams officially start. Some students will be at the Undergraduate Library, others at Red Lion. The last remaining group will be so overwhelmed that they end up spending the day in bed watching the latest episodes of “American Horror Story.” 

Once you decide which category you fall under, you will need some music to listen to while you study/rage/stress. I’ve picked three popular songs to match your decision:

“Work B**ch” by Britney Spears, “Timber” by Pitbull (feat. Ke$ha) and “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus. 

“Work B**ch” by Britney Spears

You have begun to panic but let “Work B**tch” remind you that you can do it. Right now you want a good grade, not a Maserati. Get together with Cara Drennan, senior in LAS, and she’ll help you push through that 12-hour shift at the UGL. 

Drennan said she has not taken advantage of Reading Day in the past, but now being a senior and having more difficult classes, she has begun to realize that it’s the perfect opportunity to “catch up on the harder classes and create outlines.” 

To feel the most prepared for her finals, Drennan said that she creates lists and schedules to tackle the remaining assignments, projects and final exams and to help her organize her time.

Drennan enjoys having a good time, but stated that having a high GPA is still very important. Despite the urge to procrastinate, Drennan said she decided to focus on her academics this year. To encompass this mindset, she speaks Spears’ lyrics of, “bring it on, ring the alarm, don’t stop now just be the champion,” which she says encourages her to stay focused and push through the remaining weeks at school.

“Timber” by Pitbull (feat. Ke$ha)

Meet Lauren Matthews, senior in LAS. 

On Reading Day, she will be channeling Pitbull’s lyrics, “let’s make a night, you won’t remember; I’ll be the one, you won’t forget” this year because while grades are still very important, Matthews believes that having a good time counts.

According to Matthews, the night before Reading Day, or “Reading Day Eve,” is one of the “most social nights because no on has any obligations the next day.” She said she enjoys the time off, because as a senior she wants to take advantage of seeing her friends one last time before leaving for break.

As a senior who has completed all her finals prior to exam week, Matthews has the freedom to fully enjoy Reading Day Eve. Since Matthews has finished all of her final exams, she said that she’s “excited to catch up with everyone Reading Day Eve at Red Lion.” Red Lion is her favorite bar because she insisted that “everyone there is just trying to have a good time” and that’s exactly what she’ll be doing.  

Matthews doesn’t know when she is leaving campus yet because she said she wants to wait and celebrate being done for the semester with all of her friends.  “It’s hard to find a time when all my friends can get together at the same time,” Matthews said. But when they do, it’s definitely a night to remember.

“Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus

Sometimes finding motivation is hard. You find yourself sitting in your room creating a “To Do” list and realize that the amount of work you have to do to prepare for finals is overwhelming. You might even refer to this large amount of work as a giant “Wrecking Ball.” You and Josephine Stoner, senior in LAS, have something in common. 

Being a double major in communications and statistics, Stoner has twice as much work when preparing for her final exams. To Stoner, “Reading Day is helpful for those who have finals the following day because it gives you that time to relax and not feel overwhelmed.” 

Similarly, Nathan Tucker, sophomore in DGS, said that he has an increased workload on Reading Day because he pushes off the work until then.  Finding a balance between his two final exams, a speech and Illinois Rowing training, Tucker said the end of the semester “can get extremely overwhelming and hard to handle.”  

In the end, if you should decide to study, remember that various sources of help are available.

Because studying can become overwhelming, Erik Chapman, specialist at the Communications Library, urges students to “utilize the spaces around campus.” The libraries on campus have “public computers, additional resources and professional staff” who are more than willing to help students in need, Chapman said. 

He said that in his opinion, having finals that “are spread out are the best because it enables the students to study more” and take the time needed to do their best work.

“Ask for help,” Chapman said. “Come in and ask the library staff for help if you need it.”

David is a senior in LAS. He can be contacted at [email protected].