Falling Into Finals
By Keeley H.
While the turn of the season invites relaxing, merry ideas of week-long breaks, holiday activities, and sweater weather, the end of the semester seems to be more frigid than warm due to the looming threat of finals. It’s frequently preached that students need to prioritize their mental health; however, the gravity grades hold on today’s society makes it nearly impossible for students to get a good night’s rest that is not burdened by anxiety and to-do lists. Stress and exhaustion have consumed Mountain Range’s student body, so much so that an Instagram account has been launched exposing students for sleeping in class. Before you get featured on the snooze account and your hair starts to grey, take a second to reflect on why finals are so straining on your brain, and how you can better manage your stress in times of seemingly never-ending tests.
The daunting thought of having to recall four-months-worth of information, for six different classes, in a span of a week is enough to make anyone fall into a panic-struck frenzy, but this hysteria has a history. Your current study habits determine how stressed you are during finals, according to Cerritos College. A student who has an organized, thought-out study plan to help them review content on a regular basis is less likely to stress during finals because they do not have to cram. On the other hand, a student craming for the exam the night before is much more likely to perform poorly because they are less prepared.
As much as we would all love to be the perfect student with the perfect study system and the perfect sleep schedule, realistically, that is just not palatable for the modern-day high schooler. In reality, the main cause of finals-induced stress is “distorted thinking.” Cerritos College explains that many students fear exams will reveal their inadequacy, and brand them as a failure. Though the pressure of transcripts and expectations may seem inescapable, it is important to remember that a test taken at 8 A.M. on a random Thursday in December does not define you. Success manifests itself in a variety of ways and is not limited to academic performance, which is why it is critical to take care of yourself instead of downing caffeine to finish your last assignment.
If you find yourself, once again, reaching for that coffee, take a break to watch your favorite movie, read a book, take a shower, or go on a walk. Clear your mind, and try to think about anything other than school. If you’re a master at procrastination and can’t afford to take a break, FaceTime a friend to study with you. If the stress begins to become too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A student at Mountain Range says therapy has helped him navigate the weight of finals, so just know that you are never alone.
No matter what technique you use to relieve stress, remember: you are not alone, and you deserve to take a deep breath.
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Schavez. “Home.” Cerritos College, Norwalk California, https://www.cerritos.edu/shs/mental-wellness/final-exam-panic.htm.