As the semester nears its conclusion, students feel the pressure of finals, and winter break is quickly approaching. 

Many students have a diverse living situation, so securing housing for next semester comes in different forms. Same-room-renewals are live, so some students have already secured housing for next semester. For other students, finding housing may be more complicated. 

University of Louisiana at Lafayette sophomore in psychology Deedee Toussaint said that she may radically change her living situation because of cost.

“I live off campus in an apartment right now, but I may become an RA. It’s so much cheaper, but RA’s have a lot of responsibilities, and I hear they get a lot of problems. I don’t know if I could do all that,” Toussaint said.

While changes were made to the housing selection process, scheduling for classes remains largely the same as previous years. For some returning students, the scheduling process was simple. Jolyn Seow, a broadcasting senior, described how her scheduling was a breeze. 

“Scheduling was pretty smooth. I had most of my classes planned out already and put down ready to go.”

As a senior, Seow takes specific classes for her major, so her classes did not fill up quickly. However, some students could not say the same thing.

Shaniya Butler, a freshman in computer science, said that, while the process was easy, she still had trouble scheduling.

“A ton of my classes were already filled. My scheduling time was at 8 a.m., so I was up at 7:50 and ready to go,” Butler said.

For Toussaint, scheduling for classes became easier compared to previous semesters.

“Originally, they had put me in a pre-med track without telling me. This year was very very good, and my advisor was amazing,” Toussaint said. “They helped me get on the track I needed to be on, which is perfect. Now I only have two maths.” 

With finals right around the corner, students are scrambling to prepare. Some students are inundated with final exams, while others face a downpour of projects. Cassie Bergeron, a broadcasting junior, said she has a lot of projects but less work to actually do.

“I have a lot of projects and essays, but only one cumulative test. Normally, most classes have a lot of work weighted towards the end of the semester, but that wasn’t the case this time. My workloads actually went down a bit,” Bergeron said.

For Mason Mcquade, a senior in microbiology, final exam grades make up 25%-45% of his final grades for different classes.

“I honestly need to be more prepared for my classes. I haven’t even really started, but boy, should I. For some classes, my finals are less important, but in general, they make up a huge percent of my final grades,” Mcquade said.

With classes coming to a close, some students feel relief as their classes ease up. 

“My classes are finally winding down. It’s been a very tough semester, so this is very nice,” Toussaint said.

Other students said their classes were well paced and evened out as the semester progressed. 

“I didn’t feel so rushed this semester. All of my assignments and schedules have been pretty manageable. I took six classes last semester, so only having five this semester has been great,” Seow said.

Ethan Forster, a senior graduating in computer science this semester, described this semester as one of his most difficult yet.

“I decided to take the two hardest classes in my curriculum this semester, operating systems and networking. I seriously wouldn’t recommend it. My schedule was easy, however, because they assign each of the 400 level classes to different time slots throughout the week. I really appreciated that,” Forster said.

Winter break is coming, and students detailed their plans for the month. Some plan on traveling and visiting family. 

“I’m traveling up the East coast and I will visit my family in New York. On my trip I’ll be visiting Chicago, Pennsylvania, New York and some others! This is the first time in forever that I’ll be getting to go on a long trip,” Seow said.

“I’m gonna celebrate Christman with my family, and hopefully I will see a bunch of family at graduation. Ideally I want to take a trip to New Mexico to see my older brother. The last time I saw him was seven years ago,” Forster said.

Making money for college is the plan for other students this winter break, with some staying in Lafayette, and some going to their homes elsewhere.

“I’m going home to Slidell and I’m going to work literally the entire break to save money for next semester,” Butler said.

“I will just be staying in Lafayette and working the whole time. Beyond that I will spend a lot of time with my dog,” Bergeron said.

Toussaint had a different idea entirely.

“I’m finna just have me time. I will definitely have self-care week, cuz this semester has been a lot,” Toussaint said.

Since scheduling, many students are looking forward to classes next semester, but for differing reasons. 

Some students, like Bergeron, are excited for classes for a social reason.

“I’m really looking forward to my lighting and editing class because I’m taking it with my friends,” Bergeron said.

Other students, such as Butler and Seow, are looking forward to classes which let them develop skills in their fields. 

“I’m looking forward to my computer science 260, intro to data and structures, because it’s in my major,” Butler said.

“I’m pretty excited about two classes. I’m taking a photography class for art, and the second is television news for broadcasting,” Seow said.

Toussaint, being a black student, said she is excited for the Black Students Matter class, which holds cultural relevance.

Finally, as a graduating senior, Forster didn’t express excitement for any class, but for his institutional freedom.

“I’m just excited to get the hell outta here,” Forster said.