Students respond to ongoing finals


Photo by: Sarah Wortman

Students prepare for the finals in Ms. Ida’s computer developmental psychology class.

As first semester draws to an end, students now face three consecutive days of testing.

Factors of stress

Counselors observed rising anxiety and pressure among students as the semester approaches finals week. “I think a lot of students usually wait to the last minute to try to bring up their grades and bring on unnecessary stress. I also find that students are sleeping less during this time,” said Mrs. Marisa Stuteville, school counselor. “Finals is a stressful time of the year, so students are more likely to be a little bit emotional, have meltdowns, or experience anxiety.”

Many students with borderline grades feel the pressure of final exams. “Personally, the physical science final makes me nervous, because I am getting dangerously close to a B in that class, which scares me. But I think I’ll do alright on it,” said freshman Sebastian Caetano.

For freshman Aidee Gonzales, physical science honors is also her most stressful  final. “I am not very good in that class, and there were many points in the year where I really did not understand things until the very end of the chapters,” she said. “I was given a study guide, so I am just going to follow the study guide and see how it goes from there.”

Other students consider finals a crucial factor to their performance in college. “[The final that makes me most nervous] is probably my calculus final, because my grade is on the borderline, so I need to do well,” said Danielle Chen, senior. “Part of […] my majors I am going into is math, so it is really important to get that good grade.”

Overcoming the pressure

Students draw their motivations to excel on finals from various sources. For Caetano, it was his parents’ wish for him to obtain a good grades. On the other hand, Springer encourages herself with other activities. “I usually make plans after finals, and that gives me motivation to get through [them]. I also rent a book to read after I finish the finals for more motivation,” said Springer.

“What motivates me is that I really want to get my grades up, because I used to have straight A’s when I was in middle school, said Gonzales. “I really don’t want to go down from that.”

Some students find the silver lining in the midst of final exams. “It’s a little bit better than a normal test, because for a normal test, you only have like forty minutes. You feel that with the two hours time for the final, you are going to have more time to be able to finish your test and be able to do your best,” said Gonzales.

Others see room for change. “[…] I wish teachers can split [the testing content] up, so maybe every quarter we have a final,” Springer said.

Sophomore Emily Patterson would prefer taking finals before the winter break, although she does believe that both before and after break have their respective advantages.  “Taking finals before the break prevents us from worrying about it over the break and allows us to relax. But having finals after the break gives us more time to study,” she said.

After they complete their finals, Herndon and Springer plan to go out and eat lunch with their friends and relax. Gonzales will not be going out but looks forward to a resolute sentiment of completion. “Just, I’m done, and I’m done,” she said.

Chen said she will replenish herself with a lot of sleep.