Finals Week study breaks (that still promote language learning and culture).

May 19, 2016 / by Lindsay Mullen

student, mango

It’s the home stretch, librarians, and that means it’s the busiest time of the year for you. Everywhere on campus, students are cramming for their final tests, cranking out their last term papers, and trying to figure out whether they should present their Intermediate Sculpture final project as more brutalist or dadaist. Your library is buzzing with student learning.

To keep students (and staff!) at the top of their game in this difficult time, it’s essential that they don’t burn out. That’s where you come in and offer them an especially groovy study break. While you’ve probably already heard about the campus puppies, massages and pizza parties (or offer those yourself!) here are a few ideas to keep students learning while they relax.

Silent dance party.

You’re not a regular library, you’re a cool library that allows people to discuss, make and create. While that’s great, sometimes it’s fun to make like Depeche Mode and embrace the silence. What are we talking about? Why, hosting a silent, department-aligned dance party, of course!

Embrace your inner DJ and curate a Spotify playlist for each of the major academic disciplines at your institution. Encourage students who need a break to pull one up and rock out, headphones on, in a specifically designated area of the library! By keeping music aligned with what they’re studying, you’ll help students stay in the zone even while they’re recharging. Equip the German students with some Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Fantastischen Vier and Nena, and load up the physics students with Moby, Muse and (of course) “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters. Rock on.

Beyond pizza parties.

While it’s true that free pizza is as beloved to college students as open-note finals and Thursday nights, it gets a little old by finals week. Freshen up your food offerings by enticing students with foods from around the globe. Offer a kolacky-making study break and introduce students to these delicious Czech pastries. Do some research on comfort foods from around the world and offer them to needy students. It’s a great way to make foreign students feel more at home as well. Even if they’ve been camped out in the upstairs reading room for the past week, they can still travel the world—at least through the world’s food.

Movie night.

Kicking back with a nice film is a great way to relax and recharge before a major final. But what’s even better is when a movie can help you better understand and appreciate any studying that’s been supplementing it.

Host a movie night to help students put their studying to use. Consider offering a double feature of one of the most accurate science fiction movies and one of the worst to get science majors applying their knowledge in a fun way. For the more artistically inclined, a beautiful animated feature from Pixar or Studio Ghibli can provide the inspiration needed to finish up a term paper. And for everyone (but especially language-learners!) a Mango Premiere film is a fun way to learn a new language and enjoy a new movie. Plus, the existential anguish of La Moustache almost certainly mirrors their finals-week feelings.

If you’re looking for some more ways to get students involved in learning and having fun in your library, download 9 Innovations Shaping Today’s Academic Libraries.

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Topics: Higher Ed

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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