Study Breaks at Rochester

Preparing for finals week can be very stressful. To help students relax a little and boost their spirits, many clubs and organizations host study breaks during the last couple days of classes and reading period, the few days when classes cannot be held so we can study. I went to 10 of these study breaks (for work, of course) so I can give you an idea of what study breaks are like here. I would like to point out that I only attended about a third of the study breaks available, so this list is by no means comprehensive!

Therapy dogs

There were many opportunities to spend time with therapy dogs during the week of reading period. On Monday, the monthly therapy dog squad came to Georgen Athletic Center, providing some joy as classes came to an end. Later in the week, there were also therapy dogs in the Physics and Astronomy and Carlson Libraries, courtesy of Peers for Animal Wellness and Safety.

Shoot your papers with Archery Club

Archery Club provided students with the opportunity to vent about papers, tests, and anything else that may have been a source of frustration by shooting arrows at them. I brought a practice test for a test I’d had earlier that day to tape to the target. Of the 40ish arrows I shot, four of them hit the paper, but it was still a lot of fun!

To be fair, I haven’t shot a bow in several years

Gingerbread houses with the Biomedical Engineering Society

Participants competed for nothing more than the glory of winning the title of highest and most visually appealing graham cracker structures.

I think his “gingerbread” house should have won most visually appealing on account of its architectural complexity…

Library study break

River Campus Libraries hosted a study break with hot chocolate and cupcakes, including vegan options. It was nice to get a treat before hitting the books again.

Making parols with the Filipino American Students’ Association

A parol is a Filipino Christmas decoration shaped like a star. I made a miniature one and hung it on my dorm room door!

Dead Sea spa with Rochester Students for Israel

Inspired by the Dead Sea, RSI hosted a spa break, including Mediterranean food, Dead Sea face masks, and 15-minute chair massages! If I were to organize a study break, this is exactly what I would have done. A neck and shoulder massage was exactly what I needed, I love hummus, and face masks are always nice!

Finals survival kits with international student mentors

International student mentors brought paper bags, decoration supplies, snacks, candy, tea, and more for students to make their own finals survival kits. Gotta have some peppermint tea to keep me refreshed!

Pies and puppies with the Class of 2020 Class Council

There were a variety of pies and a couple therapy dogs in the library. I abstained from the pie since I hadn’t had dinner yet, but they sure looked good. The therapy dogs were great, of course.

sweet study break with the Class of 2021 Class Council

Featuring a sizeable candy bar, this study break sure was sweet! Plus, attendees could pick up a Class of 2021 water bottle, starring Rochester’s unofficial mascot, the groundboi (a groundhog/woodchuck).

Reusable mug decorating with Dining Team Green

I already have a couple reusable mugs, but I went to this study break for some vegan protein balls. There was also coffee, if you’re into that. It was an opportunity for people to learn about the incentives at Rochester to use reusable mugs at coffee shops on campus. You can get any size hot or cold tea or coffee for just $1.39 at Starbucks, Peets, or Connections if you bring a reusable mug. When you use your reusable mug, you can also get a punch on a punch card. After ten punches, you can have a free pastry!


One of the things I appreciate about the study breaks clubs host is that they are open to everyone. Obviously, I’m not a part of all the organizations that hosted these events, but that was totally fine. The last few days of classes and reading period are a great time to get free food and hot beverages. It almost makes me excited for this time next semester…

About the author

Kayla Zilke

I'm a member of the Class of 2021 from Seattle, WA majoring in psychology with a minor in business. I'm involved with Quidditch, GreenSpace, EcoReps, intramural sports, and the Students Association of Vegan and Vegetarian Youth. I also have a job as a student administrative assistant in the Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology department.

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