Stuff Mason Students Like #8: Camping Out in the JC During Finals

With the Johnson Center open around the clock for finals, many students spend days - and nights - in study rooms. (Cathi Acosta)

UPDATED 2:16 a.m. 

Oh May, that month in the year when stress levels run high, coffee and energy drink sales seem to spike and students are running on an average of – if any – four hours of sleep. For some, final exams and papers have already begun. Others have spent their weekend studying in anticipation for their first Blue Book on Monday.

At George Mason University, cramming is common.


Because the university recognizes these “study habits," the Johnson Center is staying open 24 hours through Tuesday to offer students a place to study and focus. Several students have been taking advantage of this to the extreme level by making the JC their home since Friday, literally camping out in the JC to maximize study time.

Particularly for commuters, “taking long naps” in the JC to study for finals apparently has practical purposes and benefits. Brian Dang, a senior and one of Mason’s many commuter students, says staying in the JC saves students from the hassle of daily commuting and parking. “I can concentrate on my studies and not have to worry about parking and traffic,” he said.

A long nap is especially helpful when students have exams in the morning; grabbing shuteye in the JC saves them from the trouble of finding a parking spot on time. In addition to the travel time saved, students also say do not have the distractions of home to worry about. “Our house is packed with distractions,” said management major Stevie Goodnight. “I tend to focus better studying on campus.”

Those that nap and study with friends in the same study room acknowledge how small the room is and how quickly smells can build up. Especially if you’re in their for days. To counteract this, students take advantage of showers in Mason’s gym facilities or wash up at a friend’s dorm. Goodnight relied on the latter to get him through last year’s JC sleepoverfest. “If it wasn’t for [my friend’s dorm], I’d have never stayed on campus. Hot showers equal heaven.”

One could also try Dang’s method, which was to “wash-up and use a lot of Axe [body spray].” Not in the study room, though of course.

Surprisingly, hunkering down in the JC seems to benefit some students in terms of actually studying for finals. “In a lot of ways it made a laborious task more fun. I could literally study, night or day, and there would be people there with me. It felt so communal and it encouraged me to keep studying,” said Goodnight.

As crazy as staying in the JC for days may seem, it turns out it is growing more common among Mason students. Little by little, more students are recognizing the benefits of studying and taking a long nap in the JC overnight, be it over one night or a few. Try it out. Who knows? Maybe you will find it beneficial too.




Writer's Note: Inspired by the popular blog, Stuff White People Like, “Stuff Mason Students Like” is pretty self-explanatory in drawing attention to the stuff that George Mason University students like. This column aims to foster a common culture among Mason’s student population, publish what people are thinking and say, and most importantly, to poke some fun at the Mason student body.


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