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EstebanFernandez003.jpg University of Colorado graduate student Esteban Fernandez spends the beginning of his spring break in the Norlin Library working on an Anthropology research paper  Monday March 21, 2011. Chancey Bush/ The Camera
Chancey Bush
EstebanFernandez003.jpg University of Colorado graduate student Esteban Fernandez spends the beginning of his spring break in the Norlin Library working on an Anthropology research paper Monday March 21, 2011. Chancey Bush/ The Camera

Academic calendar

April 29: Last day of classes

April 30-May 5: Final exams

May 6: Commencement at Folsom Field, 8:30 a.m.

Source: colorado.edu

The return from spring break means hitting the books hard for many University of Colorado students.

For some, the reality of crunch time hit before break, as finals are nearly a month away.

Last week gave some students time to get ahead of the game. However, others are returning from break shell-shocked about the rapid approach of exams.

CU freshman Justin Lewis said — despite spending the entire week in Boulder — he stayed away from the books, with hopes of recouping before the end of the semester.

“A friend flew to Boulder to hang during his break, so it’s been more like having a break,” Lewis said.

Just before break started, Lewis said he realized finals were quickly approaching, but taking some time off school was better than chancing a burnout.

“It’s not going to help me get through the semester being stressed now,” Lewis said. “I should probably be studying, but oh well.”

CU junior Patrick Larkin said for most undergraduate a break from the books is the best way to push through the rest of the semester.

“You need a break to get through it,” Larkin said. “Study breaks are key. That way you can … just push through when it’s time.”

Some CU students, like Larkin, are prolonging their return to school for another week by traveling to New York to catch the CU men’s basketball team play in the National Invitation Tournament.

Larkin said he is going to take some books with him, but is planning to “hit it hard” when he gets back on Friday.

CU junior Robert James is also making the trip to New York. James said finals week is always stressful and often creeps up quickly, so the best thing he can do is use the week before to cram in as much studying as possible.

“I usually try to relax until about the week before finals so I can store up the energy to get through,” James said. “I know I won’t do well on my exams if I’m stressed, so it’s easier to just get all my studying in right before.”

While taking time off of school before finals seems to be a trend among many undergraduates, graduate students at CU seem to have a different philosophy.

Esteban Fernandez, CU graduate in anthropology, said between his work as a teaching assistant, research assistant and student, his schedule leaves little time for his final term paper. Fernandez and many of his peers spent their break taking advantage of the quiet study spots to prepare for the coming weeks.

“I think I can speak for everyone else in grad school when I say it’s about the only time you have to do the research,” Fernandez said.

No matter how students chose to spend their spring break, it seems inevitable that the final weeks of class with be stressful and chaotic, Fernandez said.

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