Hinsdale Central and South students cram for finals

Many students regularly use laptops and iPads for schoolwork, but when it comes time to bear down for finals, you can’t beat the good old library for studying.

More students have been filling the chairs and tables at the Hinsdale Public Library the last few weeks, as they review material, or possibly cram, for their first-semester final exams next week.

The library makes them feel welcome with snacks and special activities.

But it’s the quiet atmosphere of the library that appeals most to the students.

Alexis Dellaportas, a Hinsdale Central junior from Oak Brook, said if she were at home, she would be distracted by her favorite things, such as “listening to music.”

She prefers to study at the library because “it’s quite large, and it’s a clean and quiet environment.”

Anytime she has a quiz, major exam or paper due, Dellaportas said she goes to the library.

“I’m here pretty much every Thursday for two to three hours.”

The school libraries extended their regular hours in the days before final exams. The library at Hinsdale South provided healthy snacks and tutors for Spanish, science and math courses through Monday. The school libraries, however, are not open as late as the Hinsdale Public Library, which is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien, which stays open until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Both public libraries also are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Lauren Excell, Emma Dannhausen-Brun and Cayleigh Fikejs, three sophomores from Hinsdale, shared a table on the second floor of the Hinsdale library last week.

“During finals, we come here everyday,” Fikejs said. “It’s fun to study with friends. If you have a question, there’s somebody you can ask.”

The girls take some of the same classes, although each was studying a different subject.

Excell was reviewing Spanish, Dannhausen-Brun was studying math, and Fikejs was reviewing her French.

“You get more done at the library,” Fikejs said.

“There are less distractions,” Excell said. “At home, you can easily turn on the TV. And if you are sitting on the couch, you fall asleep.”

They had brought water bottles, Pringle potato chips and their iPhones, but they were not talking on their phones. The library staff discourages people from talking on cellphones in the library.

At a nearby table, five students jointly studied the U.S. Constitution.

Aiste Kasetaite read out the questions: “What is the great compromise?”

“True or False: All legislation must pass both houses.”

“Does the Constitution mention slavery?”

Her friends, fellow juniors at Hinsdale Central, answered the questions, sometimes with different responses.

The students said studying at the library is more productive than studying at home.

“You just read it over and over when you’re by yourself, but you don’t really learn it,” Marianna Garcia of Burr Ridge said.

“I retain more when I study here,” said Rugile Valiunaite of Hinsdale. “It’s kind of like school. The tables and chairs are like desks and there’s books all around.”

“It makes you want to study,” Kasetaite said. At home, TVs, iPhones and iPads are too accessible and too tempting, she said.

Parents also can be a distraction, one student said, “nagging you all the time to study.”

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