Posted October 25, 2012 by Mandi Bryson 

The Zombie Plan

We begin every semester with a great deal of energy, excited for the students to return after a break. The campus has energy, and everyone seems to have a great outlook.

Enter midterms.

Almost six weeks into the semester comes the dreaded midterms. As staff in a student center, we have the opportunity to observe all types of students from the ones who walk into the food court, grab a snack, and walk back out the door to those who find a quiet corner in the building and stay for hours, books and papers scattered as they struggle to put together a 10-page paper. We even see the ones who come in for the one hour they are required to attend a meeting. The full-time staff in the building also see their student staff around this time. It is at this point in the semester we could all invest in Red Bull and Five Hour Energy and make more money than imaginable.

What do all of these students have in common? They all look like zombies.

We often joke about having a “Zombie Plan,” and even have some student government elections that include the question from their peers, “What is your zombie plan?” But as the staff, we have an opportunity to assist with our own zombie plan and get the students through the midterm crazies.

  • Feed the Zombies: Provide healthy (and not so healthy) snack breaks. Set up a table in the lobby of the building with free snacks for the students.
  • Plan Quick Activities: Consider a quick game of corn hole in a green space or a dart board with balloons (latex free!).
  • Provide Resources for Stress Management: Make sure to have everything from yoga classes to kickboxing schedules on-hand for those who might take their stress out in different avenues.
  • Promote the Student Learning Centers: Provide information on study sessions or just information on where to go to get more help.
  • Offer Free Stuff: Students always love free stuff. Stress balls, rubber ducks, candy. They will take any of it, especially when their minds are mush.
  • Listen: Listen to what the students are saying through conversations, body language, social media. Even if it is passive communication, they will tell us what they need, even if they don’t know.

What is your zombie plan? How do you assist your students in getting through the midterm crazies?

Mandi Bryson

Mandi Bryson is the Associate Director for Events & Operations at College of Charleston.


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