Students take a break to play in the snow before buckling down for finals. Several inches of man-made snow covered the Chapel Quadrangle Friday morning, in an event sponsored by Duke University Union.
Students take a break to play in the snow before buckling down for finals. Several inches of man-made snow covered the Chapel Quadrangle Friday morning, in an event sponsored by Duke University Union.

As students departed their classes Friday for the last time in 2012, some enjoyed a Duke University Union-sponsored patch of snow on the Chapel Quadrangle while others headed to Perkins Library for a bit more studying. The Chronicle’s Lauren Paylor spoke with students and professors about the joy and trepidation they were feeling at the end of the semester.

“As the end-of-semester tasks accumulate each term, I look forward to the last day of class like a child waiting for Santa Claus. But as soon as it gets here, I suddenly feel a loss—for that semester’s students and for the pleasure I get from teaching.”

—Mark Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience

“I’m really looking forward to Fall LDOC but also a bit nervous for my first finals week just around the corner. I had an unforgettable first semester and can’t believe it’s almost over. I couldn’t be more excited for the Spring semester.”

—freshman June Zhang

“Even though it is not the real LDOC, I am still just as excited as if it was. Words cannot truly describe how much I have already mentally checked out of this semester.”

—sophomore Jacob Goyne

After overloading this semester and spreading myself thin, this Friday is the greatest present I could ask for! I’m thrilled to put this semester behind me and start anew in DukeImmerse South Africa.”

—sophomore Yohana Zecarias

“Part of me can’t wait for Friday to come and the other part of me is sad to see it approaching.... I’ve really enjoyed my classes this semester and don’t want to see them end. It felt really good to come back “home” to Duke this year as a sophomore already knowing my favorite study spot, friends to catch up with and my way around campus. Having this foundation of comfort also allowed for me to get to know more of the awesome people at Duke and step outside my comfort zone in new ways.”

—sophomore Sarah Haas

“It’s hard to believe that the semester is over already, but I feel like I was able to accomplish so much more this year as a sophomore than last year as a freshman when everything was just so overwhelming. I was also able to connect a lot more with classmates this year, so in a way it is sad that I won’t have those same groups to look forward to meeting with each week. In a way, this week is almost worse than finals week, so it’s also hard to remember that I still have finals to worry about.”

—sophomore Lindsey Olivere

“First-semester LDOC is more of a half-time than a celebration.”

—junior Jackson Morton

“It’s kind of anti-climatic. Compared to LDOC in the Spring, Fall LDOC just kind of depresses me.”

—junior Brian McSteen

“Friday’s LDOC will be a bitter-sweet experience for me. On the one hand, I have successfully completed another semester of engineering at Duke. On the other hand, however, I am one step closer to graduation and the end of my Duke experience. Nonetheless, I will celebrate the day by enjoying the Christmas music in ABP, the church bells resonating from the Chapel and possibly a Christmas movie in my common room, among other things.”

—junior Lucas Talavan-Becker

“I hate to say it, but I’d be way more bummed missing Spring LDOC. And, I am thrilled to be coming back to Duke in January. T minus 26 days. Best of luck to everyone on their finals, and I can’t wait to see you all soon.”

—junior Bridget Meaney, currently studying abroad in London, England

“My second-to-last LDOC is my STL-DOC... and I’m from St. Louis. This was prophesied to happen.”

—senior Tejas Pulisetty

“Around this time each semester, a large number of people seem stressed, overwhelmed or distracted for whatever reason. I’ve been in a similar position too, where the work is unfathomably difficult and nearly impossible to get through. But now, almost four years later, I’ve realized that life will go on and that I can get through my work, just as I have in past semesters. I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the aspects of life that are truly important—not theses, problem sets or policy memos, but pictures of puppies and kittens, self-deprecating humor and sometimes poop jokes too.”

—senior Kevin Hedrick