From sleeping in Club West to drinking three coffees in a span of a two hours, finals get the best of us Gators. The University of Florida is considered the most prestigious school in Florida. That alone makes exams particularly gruesome. When it comes to finals week, Gators go harder than ever.
Here are 10 UF traditions and good luck charms to help you pass those exams.
1. Stay up all night at Marston or Lib West
After our two-hour naps, we have to start prepping for the next one. UF loves to torture us with three lecture exams in one week. “Honestly, I don’t sleep the night before exams,” senior journalism major Nikhil Srinivasan said. “I had a philosophy exam at 7 a.m. two years ago, and I just didn’t sleep at all the night before… [I] just went in at 7 a.m. and then came home and went to bed. Don’t worry Nik, you’re not the only Gator that does that.
2. Start studying the day before the exam
Once we get to college, our procrastination habits from high school only get worse. “My finals tradition at UF is to put everything off until the day before the final, or two days before the final, just because I’m naturally a procrastinator,” junior advertising major Arik Benlevy said. “I think just from taking easy classes freshman year, I thought I’d be able to continue it throughout my time at UF. I’ve kept it up to some extent, but I realize that it’s not really feasible while you progress in your studies at UF.”
3. Host a study party
Let’s get a round of applause for the person who can study with a group of people. Even if your friends aren’t in the same class as you, you can suffer through studying together. Misery loves company, right? And what better place to suffer together than a study room? But if you’ve ever tried to reserve a study room in Marston or West, you, too, have almost thrown your computer or phone across the room when D!BS decides to flicker out on you. I say you take a page out of my book and just sneak in and out of reserved rooms until the actual reservers come. Call it room-hopping.
4. Drink insane amounts of coffee
The caffeine that courses through our blood during finals week is more than all of Starbucks’ baristas in the world put together. We went from not drinking coffee in high school to knowing all of Dunkin Donut’s workers’ names, phone numbers, addresses and social security numbers. “Any time exams come around, it’s coffee central for me,” sophomore advertising major Allie Jackson said. “I get so tired cause I stay up late that I just buy tons of coffee.” Surviving off coffee becomes second nature during exams. And UF has like eight million Starbucks locations on campus.
5. Sleep in the library
My roommate and I actually did this last semester. We went to the Lib West and stayed there until 5:30 the next morning. We went home, napped for two hours and then woke up for our exam the next day. Over the seven-hour span we spent at the lib, we took over two study rooms that weren’t reserved for us, and then sprawled ourselves across rolly chairs to nap. Across the hall from us, there was a girl knocked out on two chairs, wrapped in a blanket and a pillow for her head. #ItsGreatUF
6. Plan how to tackle each exam
UF has been around since 1853. Since then, our exams have overlapped. When those exams pile up and past Gators have tackled three exams in a row, we needed to learn how to plan ahead. “I make a guide on when to study for each course and a list of materials each exam will consists of,” junior public relations major Deidry Gomez said. “I study the more difficult courses first and longer and then the easier ones.” You’d think after 164 years, these Gators would’ve patented The Gator Study Plan.
7. Bring extra pencils
As a Gator, you cannot tell me that Smokin’ Notes reps handing out pencils haven’t greeted you outside of Carlton or Turlington at least once. But for those of you that are particular about your pencils (don’t worry, we won’t judge), I advise you bring more than one. “I make sure that they (the pencils) all have a fluffy, soft eraser,” public relations junior Natalie Calvo said. “I also bring a standalone fluffy, soft eraser, just in case I mess up on one of the bubbles and I need to erase, but the other bubbles don’t erase.”
8. Get everything done ahead of time
For those brilliant people who don’t procrastinate and do everything the day before, please help us achieve your level of chillness. “I always try to get all my homework and other assignments done with three days before an exam, so that I can solely focus on studying for those three days,” junior mechanical engineering major Carlos Gonzalez said. “I also always stop studying about two hours before exam time, shower, get prepped and eat a solid meal, usually Firehouse Subs or Chipotle.” Take a page out of Gonzalez’s book, and spoil yourself with Chipotle and an extra coffee from Dunkin across University before your exam begins. You’re probably at West already anyways.
9. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important, people! Even if you’re in the Marston basement until close, make your way to West. Try getting at least two solid hours of sleep before exam time, even if it’s in the library with your hood on and in a corner. If that’s not enough, knock out on the bus to class for like 15 minutes—just don’t miss your stop. “It’s important to get sleep because it helps with cognitive function, and if you don’t get enough sleep you’re going to have a hard time remembering what you even studied,” junior public relations major Hope Basile said.
Once exams are over, the only place you won’t find people out celebrating is the library. All over campus people are celebrating. Across campus in mid, everyone’s hitting up Fat’s, Social, even Grog’s. Downtown, the lines for Saga and Simons are three miles long again. It’s as if hell week didn’t just end. As Gators, we go hard and some of us even stay after our exams are over to go out properly and surrounded by the rest of us who didn’t go home. Ah, there’s nothing like celebrating in Gainesville after finals.