Fun during Finals! Reading Week Events

I am currently in the midst of every college student’s most dreaded time of the semester: finals. Although spending hours in the library can get stressful, I have to admit that part of me actually looks forward to these last few weeks before break. That’s because WashU does a great job of getting students through all the exams and papers with amazing study breaks.

Although classes end on a Friday, finals here at WashU don’t actually start until the Thursday after. That’s because Monday-Wednesday is Reading Week, three days completely free for studying. In addition to providing ample time to prepare for finals, Reading Week is a great opportunity to spend time with friends before everyone goes their separate ways for break.

The Campus Life office offers great ways to do that through its Reading Week events in the Danforth University Center (DUC)! A huge fan of this programming myself, I made sure to attend every one.

First Event: Finals Market

The Finals Market offered a fun, healthy way to step away from my work for a few minutes Monday afternoon. I was able to gather a bag of fresh produce including mandarins and raspberries. I also got granola bars and nuts and entered into a raffle to win prizes such as WashU merch, a speaker, and a giant stuffed bear. I got to enter the raffle again at each event throughout the week.

Late Night Pancakes

Later that day at 9pm, breakfast catering company Chris Cakes St. Louis served up warm pancakes with toppings like whipped cream, syrup, and fruit compote. Although the line took a few minutes, it was one of the best parts of the event, as Chris would toss three pancakes in the air for students to catch in their plates. The best part: we could come back for more!

Gotta catch ’em all!

Tuesday Tea and Hot Chocolate

Every week Campus Life hosts Tuesday Tea at 3 and serves up warm tea and delicious scones, one of my favorite things at WashU. But this week they made it even better by adding hot chocolate! The cocoa was delicious and the environment was even better, as they gave out crafts for students to do together while they enjoyed their treats. My favorite part, though, was that they gave out Tuesday Tea mugs for free. While normal Tuesday Tea mugs have to be returned at the end of the event, Campus Life made special ones for Reading Week, complete with a cute cartoon of a duck wearing a scarf as an ode to the DUC.

My new Tuesday Tea mug


Having memorized the Reading Week event schedule in advance, I was especially curious as to what this event on Wednesday afternoon would be. As a play on Instagram, Finals-Gram consisted of fun photo booths and costumes. By taking a photo, I was also able to make two entries into the raffle at once. I took a photo dressed in a large pickle costume and sent it to my entire family with very little context. They were understandably a bit confused.

In a bit of a pickle…

But First… Dessert

The final event of the week took place on Wednesday at 9pm, right when students needed a well-deserved break from studying for Thursday exams. Possibly the most delicious of them all, this event featured desserts from our campus restaurant, Ibby’s.  The Bananas Foster and Baked All Nighter (a large cappuccino chocolate chip cookie topped with caramel sauce and coffee ice cream) are the two most beloved desserts from Ibby’s, and they sure were popular at the event!

Campus Life also announced the raffle winners while everyone ate their dessert. Although I was sad to not win, the sweet treats made it all better.