It’s that time of year again — students are sleeping less, studying more and questioning if they really need a college degree. That’s right, it’s finals week.

Wheather someone is a Chemistry major, or a journalism major like myself, chances are they are counting down the days until winter break, and calculating exactly what grade they need on their final to still pass — C’s get degrees after all, right?

Preparing for finals has become so notorious for contributing to an exponential rise in stress that many students refer to it as “Dead Week."

Nestled far back on the University of New Mexico’s North Campus is a building dedicated to trying to cure what is arguably one of the most formidable conditions — its most common form: dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.

UNM’s effort to better understand, diagnose and treat dementia is embodied by the UNM Memory & Aging Center. Operations at the center began in 2015, but an open house was held on Dec. 6 to showcase its progress and research.

Dementia is a condition that results in the deterioration of cognitive function, including a decline in memory, reason and the ability to learn. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that has no cure, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control.

Republican Rep. Steve Pearce sat down with the Daily Lobo Saturday to discuss his run for governor in 2018, as well as the many issues facing New Mexico and the country right now. Topics of discussions included the Lottery Scholarship, the GOP tax bill and the status of public lands in New Mexico. He visited the University of New Mexico Saturday to speak to UNM College Republicans.

Q: What brings you to Albuquerque today?

A: “Just always the campaign. We’ve got a little bit of congressional work to do. Every weekend I come home, or pretty close.”

Editor's Note: As part of our graduation issue, we would also like to acknowledge the staff at the Daily Lobo who are graduating this semester.

Kevin Maestas is a current staff photographer at the Daily Lobo. He has been working with our publication since the Spring 2017 semester and will be graduating this fall. We will miss his beautiful photography and excellent storytelling skills as he embarks on the next chapter in his life.

Grad Issue: Exchange student Gerardo Archundia returns to Mexico, looks back at time at UNM

Editor's Note: As part of our graduation issue, we would also like to acknowledge the staff at the Daily Lobo who are graduating this semester.

Gerardo Archundia S. is a current multimedia reporter at the Daily Lobo. He is a foreign exchange student who has been working with our publication since the beginning of this semester. His journalistic skills will be missed, as he finishes his time as an undergrad at the University of New Mexico this semester.

Grad Issue: Logan Jones attributes leadership and teamwork skills to ROTC

As Logan Jones nears the end of his time in college, he will begin a new journey as an officer in the United States Air Force.

Logan Jones will be graduating on Dec. 16, 2017 from The University of New Mexico, receiving his bachelor's in exercise science.

He joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Air Force program his second semester at UNM, a program he participated in throughout his time at the University. After Jones graduates, he will join his wife as an officer in the Air Force next month.

Grad Issue: Cassidy Gardner has big plans after business school

Cassidy Gardner’s experience at the University of New Mexico has been pretty phenomenal, giving her the necessary knowledge to pursue her dreams past college, she said.

Gardner was a study abroad student, in addition to her time at UNM Main Campus, and will be graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in business and international management.

“UNM is a really great University, especially for business,” Gardner said. “(The Anderson School of Management is) very difficult but worth it, if you will to be able to get a degree from such a well known institution.”

Gardner studied abroad in Brazil for six months in 2016, one of the most impactful experiences she had as a student, she said.

Grad Issue: Vanessa Espinoza hopes to take photojournalism to the next level

First-generation college students face unique challenges — challenges that soon-to-be graduate Vanessa Espinoza can relate to.

Espinoza is originally from El Paso, Texas, and the challenges she faced are likely experiences many students enrolled at the University of New Mexico may relate to.

Being the first in her family to attend a four-year institution, the lack of experience and knowledge about attending college proved to be challenging.

Nonetheless, Espinoza persevered and began her undergraduate career as a dental hygiene major. But she said that she eventually discovered the discipline left her uninspired, and she decided to change majors.

Grad Issue: Alison De la Concepcion finds triumph in tragedy

A few years ago, Alison De la Concepcion was not even planning on going to college. Now, she is graduating with a degree in family studies and looking toward a master’s program.

Her journey was not easy.

Raised in a military family, De la Concepcion travelled across the country throughout her young life. She heard of the University of New Mexico for the first time when her father received a deployment in Albuquerque, but she was hesitant to enroll.

“At first, I didn’t want to go to college. I was against it,” she said.

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