As finals are approaching faster than I can say, “hey winter
break hey,” I thought I’d prepare a list of a WashU student’s essentials toolkit
to prepare for the two weeks of doom that are looming over us all.

Sleeping Bag

Now I know that you wonder at the stamina of the select few students who manage
to study so deep into the night that they retire, unchallenged and
uncomfortably, in Whispers, hopefully with a toothbrush in their backpacks. For
most of us, during the semester, surviving a handful of allnighters is
unavoidable, but we would prefer to remain in the library only until most of
our friends have gone off facebook chat and we’re starting to really feel
alone. But during finals, everything changes. Your grades really really matter
this time. And it is not one allnighter you have to pull, but maybe two or
three in a row, and the Whispers booths are starting to look preeeettty comfy.
Also, there are people freaking everywhere, so you don’t know what sleeping
position you’ll be forced to take on. That is why having a sleeping bag is
vital. It is guaranteed to make the night you slept in Whispers marginally more
comfortable than passing out to the smell of microwave popcorn on the bare

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Any WashU final survivor (ohh freshmen”¦) knows, the food of champions during
this stressful time has to be these chocolate balls of pure joy. More potent
and with a faster onset than your normal cup of coffee, these beans are like
crack and absolutely necessary to remain awake when you have a 10 page paper
due in 11 hours and though you can’t imagine how, only your name and the date
have been written. Just shove a few in your mouth and the familiar symptoms of
heart palpitations and sweaty hands will occur in only a few minutes. At the
very least your stress will be redirected to, instead of your Calculus 3 exam
(U + Me = Us), to wondering whether or not you’ve consumed enough chocolate
covered espresso beans to actually kill you.

Eye Drops

It is a given that no one is really going to be sleeping during finals week. I
like to call the “sleeping” that I do “napping,” or, maybe more accurately,
“resting my eyes.” And we all know what you look like without sleep and it
isn’t pretty. This is perhaps more of a public service announcement than a
suggestion for you, per se, but we are all suffering so no one needs to take on
more by staring into your red blotchy eyes. So do us all a favor and give some
Visene a little love.

That Friend who has a Gajillion Extra Mealpoints

If only we could live purely off of chocolate cover espresso beans. But, alas,
sustenance at a certain point is necessary and what better way to acquire it
than by your friend who somehow never eats and is just hoarding mealpoints like
they’re milk-ads from elementary school. I like to demand my mealpoint-rich
friends to invite me to dine with them at Ibby’s, because if you are going to
get a free meal, you might as well do it in style. It’s not like they’re ever
going to see these mealpoints again, because at a 1.25 to 1 dollar to mealpoint
ratio, you’re not spending enough money to have them carry over to next
semester. So really, all you mealpoint misers out there, give to the charitable
cause of your hungry friend who has been on campus card since October.

One (or maybe three) Extra Alarm Clock(s)

It’s a good thing you have me here, because I am just trying to prevent your
worst nightmare from becoming a reality: sleeping through a final, God forbid. It’s
December now, and there is a 95% chance that you have become habituated to your
normal alarm sound, so drastic measures must be taken. If you use a good old
fashioned alarm clock to wake you up, add in your phone’s alarm. I know that
even ye holders of dumbphones out there have an alarm feature, so no excuses!
If you use your phone’s alarm to wake you up, how about adding your digital
watch’s alarm feature for posterity? If you don’t have a digital watch, I don’t
understand you, but I still sympathize with you, so ask your roommate to do a
solid and awaken you at the proper hour. If worst comes to worst and you cannot
guarantee wakefulness, just keep a stash of chocolate covered espresso beans
handy and convince yourself that the allnighter you are about to pull
“studying” is actually going to help you.


Every bit of studying must be tempered with a healthy dose of procrastination,
and what better way to do so than with my favorite website ever? For those of
you who are unfamiliar with, be prepared to lose at least
two hours of your life, and do not open it unless you are in a location where
laughing like a hyena on steroids is appropriate. Let’s be frank here, we all
know that there is only so much studying that you can get done in one day, and
I often meet my quota at 8:00 p.m., no matter how many hours during the day I’ve
actually spent studying. So I have to do something while I’m at the library
until my friends go home. But don’t worry, I always try to keep my hand over my