Finals week will begin the week of Dec. 12 and students are beginning to feel it.

Sophomore Shyann Seymour said she is feeling anxious going into finals. Seymour has been spending time studying with classmates and dealing with her stress by hanging out with friends. Though she is feeling the pressure of finals week, she mentioned that she does feel “less stressed than last year.”

Junior Nat Wood has had a bit rougher of a go. “Every year I try to get ahead so that I’m not stressed for finals and it never works out. I’m not as stressed as I have been in previous years, but I am stressed and I do think I’ll be needing to ask for an extension on one of my papers,” Wood said.

Wood also mentioned, “A lot of my classes don’t have final tests, so for me, it’s been a lot of paper writing and trying to remember MLA format.”

They noted that they’re “making sure that” they don’t overwork themself so that they’re not feeling “useless.” Wood stated that they have good coping mechanisms which help them make sure that they’re supported, which includes working for the Office of Student Diversity, Belonging, and Equity. Wood mentioned how working for the office “helps make sure that I feel sane.”

Students who may be feeling overwhelmed by finals could benefit from attending the college’s study nights. Mark SchmidlGagne, Keene State College’s TRIO Advisor for the Aspire program, hosts weekly study nights for students. The sessions take place on Monday and Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in room 104 of the Mason Library.

Schmidl-Gagne first got the idea for the study nights in the fall of 2014, when a first-year student suggested doing study nights to him during the involvement fair. Schmidl-Gagnegot to work and, by the end of that fall semester, they had run their first study night, which has continued since then. When planning out the study nights, Schmidl-Gagne wanted to provide something that “felt a little similar to high school study hall.” He liked that in high school there was someone to watch over students and make sure they stayed on task if their minds began to drift, and that is the role that he fills during the study nights at the library.

Students who attend can expect to be “greeted in a nice way and engaged with,” he said. SchmidlGagne said he typically asks students their names and what they’re studying in order to create a welcoming environment.

The study nights are notable for their use of trivia games, which act as a break for students who have been studying. Winners are rewarded with a gift card or a mystery prize. Within the first hour, Schmidl-Gagne will run their first round of trivia and once that is finished, he will order a pizza for the group with the toppings of their choice.

Schmidl-Gagne said he values the community that’s been built through these study nights, noting that they have their own crop of “regulars” who always attend. For those interested in finding out more, students can find fliers for study night around campus. To advertise weekly study nights, Schmidl-Gagne said he will send emails that feature “a weird theme” he comes up with. He makes it clear that “there’s a method to my madness,” as these fliers are not made randomly, the themes have a purpose and relate to the trivia games that week.

For more information about the weekly study nights, email

Zach Murphy can be contacted at

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