Humans of WSU Libraries: Preparation and Finals Weeks

While Preparation and Finals Weeks are notorious for being stressful, exhausting, and even defeating, students find peace of mind when they retreat to Terrell or Holland Library. Preparation Week consists of everything that goes into Finals Week—hours of studying, finishing up final projects, last days of classes, and all while anticipating winter break. The WSU Libraries see an immense increase of students flowing in and out, from early mornings to late nights. They offer an atmosphere where students can study or relax during these times. This edition of Humans of WSU Libraries will explore library faculty, resources, and students reflecting on the end of the semester. 

Sometimes students can get caught up in heavy loads of schoolwork or feel like the computer screen is starting to go sideways. In Terrell Library, a “Study Break Station” can shift their mindset.

The station offers coloring books, playdough, and puzzles, so students can relax in a creative way. Reference Librarian Timothy Weng noted how the station is a great resource for them.

“They usually roll [the Study Break Station] out during Preparation Week,” Weng said. “I think it helps; there tends to be an increase of stress-related things going on during this time, so it helps them blow off steam if they need a little break.”

Weng, formerly a public librarian, joined the WSU staff a little over two years ago. On a Saturday during Preparation Week, he stopped by Terrell Library to find many people studying. He made sure all materials were stocked up in the library.

“My favorite part about this job is interacting with the students, helping them find things, giving them the tools they need to find what they are looking for,” Weng said.

Computer science senior Jillian Plahn was at Terrell Library almost every day since the start of Preparation Week. She is from Tigard, Ore. 

 “This semester hasn’t been as stressful, which has been nice. But when I do decide to go and study at the library, I find that it is the most effective of my studying habits. The library has helped me a lot in staying focused, especially this week,” she said.

Plahn always wanted to go out of state for college because she wanted to meet new people and try new things. Approaching the end of her senior year, she said her favorite memory this fall was hosting a “friendsgiving” for her friends.

During winter break, Plahn plans on celebrating family traditions with her younger twin sisters. 

After graduation this month, Plahn plans on moving to Charlotte, N.C., to work as a software engineer for Wells Fargo in its new analyst program.

Aviv Yaaran is from Redmond, Wash., also majoring in computer science. 

Yaaran has always been interested in technology and is reading a book about cryptography titled “The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography.” Yaaran was drawn to WSU for its computer science program, which offered promising tracks for jobs after college. 

As finals approached, Yaaran spent his time studying in Terrell Library, enjoying his own space where he could focus and prepare for his tests. 

Yaaran said he is excited to spend time watching movies and enjoying food with his family over winter break. 

“My mom makes the best beef stroganoff. It gives me 10 extra pounds when I eat it, but it’s worth it. Food is my life. I can’t wait to have a home-cooked meal again,” he said. 

Yaaran is interested in moving back to Israel, where he has family. He plans to pursue a career in either web development or cybersecurity.