Freshmen, Don’t Stress: Just Try Your Best


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dupre

Students Paige Numedahl and Carlynn Foley are looking at posters to get prepared for finals week.

With finals week approaching, the culmination of the entire semester can be a time of stress and anxiety as students prepare for the most important week of the semester: finals week.

While many are getting ready for the holiday season, partaking in family traditions and holiday parties, it may not be as merry for students who must also devote ample time and energy to studying for finals. In other words, a stressed out student concerned with maintaining a certain GPA or passing a class, may be wanting the halls to be decked with extra credit and study sessions rather than boughs of holly.

While Finals week is typically a stressful time for everyone involved, freshmen students may be especially stressed, as it’s their first time ever taking finals. They simply have no idea what to expect.

According to a study conducted by MentalHelp in 2016, The Butler Collegian article “Studies show students stress more during finals week”, claims reporter Kate Horowitz explains just how stressed students are. “89 percent of students were stressed at least two to four times per semester, and 30 percent said they were stressed for almost the entire semester.” Horowitz explains, “Thirty-one percent of students surveyed said that finals were the biggest source of their stress.”

This is important to acknowledge as it shows that students are stressed all around. This is not just a one school problem, it’s all schools. Students being under high amounts of stress seems almost normalized nowadays. Making it extremely important to know stress relieving methods and which ones work for you.

It’s true that when facing something new or different, students tend to think the worst – this especially applies in situations such as test taking. However, it’s good to be informed on the situation before worrying as there are easily made misunderstandings.

A big misunderstanding surrounding finals week is what the test format is. Generally, finals are not a long “SAT” type test. Every teacher is different, but most just do a project to wrap up the current unit and that becomes the “final”.

Another big misconception about finals is that they are 100% of your grade and if you fail it, you fail the class. However, that is untrue. Typically, Finals for each class are only worth around 15% of the overall grade. This is because Silver Creek has a policy that the weight of the grade can not be more than that.

While everyone prepares for tests differently, the following tips can help stressed students prepare for finals week.

Sophomore Zoe Anderson says, “Get a lot of sleep before finals because being tired during finals isn’t a good idea,” Anderson continues, “If you know the material, it shouldn’t be too bad. It just depends on the teacher. Don’t be nervous because that always makes things worse.”

Sophomore Ben Pecherzewski also adds, “Don’t wait until the last minute to study. That will just end badly no matter what,” Pecherzewski continues, “It’s also always a good idea to bring food and water as well.”

Leading up to finals week:
Be organized. Be sure all assigned work is prioritized. This relieves some “scatterbrained-ness” and opens up the mind to think more clearly.
Don’t procrastinate. Find a quiet place to study and organize a study group if needed. This opens up the opportunity to clear up confusion on subject areas, through talking it out with peers.

Week of Finals:
Make sure to have a nutritional breakfast. This starts the day off right with a healthy breakfast to ensure a healthy mind that’s focused on tasks.
Drink plenty of water. Water is essential for the human body and has been proven to improve memory and attention.
Get plenty of sleep. Many sleep studies have shown a correlation between quality of sleep and memory.
Memory hacks. Many students in the past have found that chewing the same flavor of gum chewed while studying, made it easier to remember the material they studied.

If students are still feeling anxious, this is when it becomes a great idea to talk to someone about it. Whether it be a teacher or counselor, communicating one’s worries can be cathartic and relieving, and in return, one can retain some very helpful advice. Students can easily meet with their counselors by simply walking in, or filling out a google form to set a time to meet.

While some may think the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, worrisome students could share that sentiment a little more by following some common sense tips and ideas to prepare for and feel confident about finals week. Good luck students and have a happy holidays filled with fun!