University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


Christmastime at Notre Dame

There’s nothing like Christmastime at Notre Dame. The excitement for the holidays is tangible post-Thanksgiving break, as dorms light up as part of Christmas decoration contests; the Dining Hall staff goes above and beyond in providing the perfect dining ambiance; and the first big snow leads to the infamous campus-wide snowball fight. If you close your eyes for a second, you truly feel as if you are in a winter wonderland.

But wait. Nowhere in that description did I mention the impending doom of finals; all-nighters, cramming, and trip after trip to Starbucks in Lafun. It’s easy to forget that the reason you are able to participate in Notre Dame’s winter wonderland at all is because you actually go to school here, a reality that most definitely entails studying extensively for final exams.

But never fear. While the imminent arrival of finals can feel overwhelming, I have three tried and true tips that will allow you to emerge from finals week unscathed, and perhaps even experience the beauty and joy that Christmastime at Notre Dame has to offer.

1. Find a good study spot.
More than ever, it is crucial during finals to find a good study spot, one that gets your creative juices flowing and does not allow for any unnecessary distractions. For some, this is takes place in their dorm room room. Kudos to you. For others, this is the library (try and get work done on the first and second floors, I dare you). For me, my finals study spot has always been in the ACE building, behind the Dome. Free coffee and hot chocolate, comfortable chairs, and a fireplace give me the motivation to sit down and study for hours on end.

2. Plan Study Breaks.
No one, not even the smartest person in the world, can study for an entire day straight. Everyone needs breaks to revitalize their minds, as well as to stay generally sane. So, take advantage of a short break: go running around the lakes, plan a dinner sans books in the dining hall with your friends, or even motivate yourself with LaFun candy wall candy (why not give yourself an excuse to eat it!).

3. Finally…Relax.
I know, I know. Everyone tells you to relax. But seriously, relax. You know the material better than you think you do, and I guarantee you you’ll do better on your exams if you relax (and sleep!). Final exams are not the end of the world.

So, with that being said, I wish you the best of luck on your final exams and hope you are able find time to experience everything wonderful about Christmas time at Notre Dame.