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Oregon State University’s campus was fairly quiet Sunday afternoon. If you didn’t go inside any buildings, that is.

But inside buildings like Kelley Engineering Center, the Valley Library and the Memorial Union, students filled study areas and lounges hunkering down over books and laptops studying for finals or putting their last touches on class projects.

Today marks the start of finals week for spring term at the university, which for many students combines the stresses of both exams and preparing to move out for the summer.

“It’s almost like a ghost town,” said Emmanuel Goicochea, a freshman in new media communication of campus. “You don’t see people walking around. You see people inside.”

Goicochea spent Sunday afternoon working on a final paper in the Memorial Union lounge.

He said a couple weeks ago fewer people would have been studying in the lounge, and people wouldn’t have been as focused on work.

“You can see the stress filled faces,” he said of the atmosphere of campus Sunday.

Goicochea said he plans to leave campus for the summer to return to Astoria, where he grew up, and he already has a job lined up at the Oregon Film Museum. He said he was looking forward to the break from school.

“It should be really nice,” he said. “Myself, and everyone who has worked really hard, we feel like we deserve a break.”

Emma Chait and Wesley Poundstone, both freshmen, also studied in the Memorial Union Sunday.

Chait, a student in merchandising management, said the pair ended up studying there after being unable to get a table in the library.

“The library is crazy. You could be walking around for 40 minutes to find a table,” she said.

Poundstone and Chait both plan to leave Corvallis for the summer; he’s heading home to Gresham, she’s going home to Southern California.

“There’s a lot of stress with studying,” Chait said of the atmosphere on campus, “but everyone is excited for summer and the break, but sad to leave their friends.”

“It’s a lot of people studying and making time to pack,” said Poundstone, a kinesiology student.

Poundstone, Chait and Coicochea are far from the only students who will be leaving Corvallis for the summer: an OSU official said the university has around 8,000 students registered for the Corvallis campus this summer. That’s down from the 24,672 students the university had on campus in Corvallis in fall term of this school year.

Cooper Whitman, head of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, said the summer months are slow for local businesses, which can be a shock to newer businesses, so the chamber always tries to prepare them for the season.

“For most businesses, it is really rough on the bottom line. But that’s life in Corvallis, and I know that most businesses are ready for it and plan ahead,” he said.

Logan Wingard, a third-year student in computer science, was working on a project in Kelley on Sunday afternoon. He said he is from California, and he was looking forward to leaving Oregon weather behind for a while.

He said the campus was pretty relaxed when you are outside, but in places like the library it’s more overwhelming.

Sandim Ciim, also a third-year student in computer science who was working with Wingard on Sunday, said most of the term she understands intellectually that there are tens of thousands of other students on campus, but it’s only during midterms and finals when she tries to study on campus that she becomes really aware of it.

“We couldn’t even find a table in (the library),” she said.

Ciim also is leaving town for the summer, for an internship in Portland.

And for the school year?

“I’m just glad it’s over,” she said.

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Anthony Rimel covers education and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.

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