The end of an academic term can feel like one giant, impenetrable puzzle. During Reading, Review and Recitation, or RRR, Week at UC Berkeley, we are left with nine days of relative freedom to piece together the reams of material we’ve learned over the past 15 weeks. For students nearing graduation, each dead week brings with it questions of what comes next: Life itself begins to look like a jigsaw, a vast array of different opportunities that must somehow fit together into a coherent plan for the future. As we work through the maze of the final two weeks of school, solving puzzles and playing games can also help refresh our minds and revive our spirits.
This issue brings you a number of activities, including a Berkeley-themed word search and a “dead week” bingo card, that we hope will provide you with fun distractions from studying. You’ll also find accounts of how such games, both physical and metaphorical, have helped students better understand themselves and strengthen their relationships with others. We hope these stories will help you, too, put some pieces together — whatever that means for you this finals season.
Playing games has been proven to increase brain cognition while decreasing stress, so here are places near campus where you can play games with friends!
— Joy Chen
There was no pressure to learn or finish the game quickly; in fact, it was just the opposite. More gameplay meant more time spent together.
— Ryan Chien
It’s thanks to the activism of students over the years that we have the time we do to reset, recharge and prepare for finals.
— Beatrice Aronson
Complete our Mad Libs to see how a day of your finals week will play out!
— Saamya Mungamuru and Beatrice Aronson
Although my dad tried to play off his home renovation projects as mere ego-boosts, his money-saving strategy taught me something money could never buy.
— Bryan Hernandez-Benitez
There is simply an obscene amount of information that must be digested and regurgitated for exams, and I always feel like a part of me is cramming, no matter how much lead time I give myself.
— Ekansh Agrawal
I realized that studying straight for hours on end may have worked for me for the past decade, but it certainly wouldn’t be sustainable.
— Rina Rossi
What better way to occupy your excess time or put off studying than playing this dead week themed bingo full of all-too-common experiences, sights and more!
— Amber Soto
— Khristina Holterman
— Maria Young, Jocelyn Huang, Connor Lin, Aditya Katewa and Samantha Lim