Some students at UNL waited for hours and then in a split second, thick, black smoke prolonged the anticipation.
It takes a two thirds plus one vote to elect a new Pope. Watching history unfold, whether in Rome, or in Lincoln, is exciting for the faithful.
The excited students at the Newman Center shouldn't have to wait longer than four days for a new Pope. In this case, watching and waiting is part of the fun.
Some people stare, waiting for smoke. Others look at the phone, waiting for a text message from a Pope-picking app.
"We got a message that said there was black smoke, no Pope elected," said Claire Pohlen, a UNL sophomore.
But that hasn't stopped the energy coming through the front doors of the student center. They say they're in "Pope mode", spending hours researching and discussing the candidates.
"People exclaiming different things. Who's it going to be? No one chosen yet today. So it's definitely an exciting time," Pohlen said.
Ever since they heard about Pope Benedict's resignation last month, they've been focusing on the future, sending their thoughts to the ones making the decision.
"It has been a main focus of many of our Bible studies. We talk about it at Mass too. The biggest uniting aspect of the Conclave is uniting the church in prayer," Pohlen said.
There's a deep reason why Claire Pohlen and other Catholics stay focused on Rome.
"The Pope is incredibly important not only to the church but to the young people here at the Newman Center. He's our holy Father, we have such admiration for him," Pohlen said.
Whether it's by text or by television, waiting for the white smoke takes patient anticipation.