Elementary education major Dean Sibinski studies for his 8:15 a.m. math for elementary education II final. Last year, Sibinski pulled two all-nighters at Perkins. “It was entirely my own doing,” Sibinski said. | Photo by Annalise Beeson

The final stretch of finals

Students prepare for their last finals with little sleep, excited to go home for break.

By Annalise Beeson, Brooke Olstad and Maddie DeBilzan | Royal Report

Dean Sibinski sat in a Perkins booth at 3 a.m. with drooping red eyes, contemplating whether to order another coffee, fill up on more pancakes or ask for the check.

It was his second night in a row pulling an all-nighter for finals week.

Sibinski, a junior elementary education major who works 30-hour-weeks on top of his 16 credits this semester, will never go back to that kind of desperation.

“My health is far more important than grades,” Sibinski said.

Students prepare for their last finals Dec. 16. Bethel University Library filled with students the week of finals Dec. 12–16. | photo by Annalise Beeson

Every student at Bethel University can relate to Sibinski. The Royal Grounds coffee line is teeming with watery eyes, blank stares, and forced smiles. The frantic clicking of computer keys and flipping of Quizlet flashcards is hidden behind the solitude of the library walls. Robot students walk through hallways with notebooks glued to their palms. It’s finals week.

Sarah Sanchez, junior communications major, is done with finals. The bounce in her step and the gleam in her eyes give it away. Sanchez turned in a 25-page paper yesterday.

“I’m not a coffee drinker, but this week I’ve had two or three,” Sanchez said.

Brendan Whalen, sophomore physics major, is on the final stretch as he sits outside of the Wellness Center with two notebooks, a binder, and a computer hectically strewn across his lap. By this time tomorrow, he will be at home, vegging out on his couch — along with the rest of the students at Bethel. He’s glad that this year he doesn’t have a take-home final.

“Last year I waited a long time to take it because I played in the snow,” Whalen said.

Students will soon clear out of the buildings with a lighter swing to their steps. At Bethel University, winter break includes three holidays: Christmas, New Years and the end of finals.