Finals Mania’s New Location Proves to be a Success

finals mania

Since its inception in 2008, Finals Mania, a tradition that provides free meals to students before the final exam period begins, has been held every semester at M.D. Anderson Library, apart from 2021, when the event transformed into a drive-thru version.

A new era of Finals Mania launched this spring when the event shifted to the Cougar Woods Dining Hall, with 883 students in attendance. At the event, there was an even mix of residential and commuter students, graduate, and undergraduate students. Students regaled UH administrators with stories of final projects, final exams, and music performances to wrap up the spring semester. Administrators, in turn, provided words of encouragement to students, as they began their final exam week.

finals mania

Even though the event space was new, the longstanding tradition of opening Finals Mania with the Spirit of Houston Marching Band and Shasta and Sasha continued. Throughout the evening, students could be seen studying in groups for exams, catching up with friends, or eating between study sessions.

“We thought that the space would be more conducive to gathering and hanging out,” said Dr. Emily Messa, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor & Senior Associate Vice President Administration.

Finals Mania attendees feasted on chicken tenders, roasted home potatoes, pancakes with all the trimmings, as well as scrambled eggs, donuts, and sausage. The menu is a long cry from past Finals Manias, which featured breakfast tacos or pancakes.

finals mania

Senior Kailyn Arquieta, who attended her first-ever Finals Mania, agreed that having this type of event in the dining hall is ideal as the food is fresher since it is not being hauled into the library.

And Arquieta was not the only first-time attendee at Finals Mania.

Sophomore Aidan Nichols said he is so locked in during finals season that he does not review emails and had no idea an event was taking place when he went to Cougar Woods for dinner.

“It’s nice being able to go to a place where the food is free, especially during this stressful time,” said Nichols.

finals mania

Jonathan Gipson, an architecture major, also attended his first-ever Finals Mania event. The junior was impressed, calling it, “a pretty cool event.”

Gipson added that he appreciates the university putting on this event for students during finals and that it was held in the dining hall.

“I liked that it was at the dining hall because it’s right across from my dorm,” said Gipson.

With a new venue change, Finals Mania has entered a new era.