Finals week is the week where mostly every class has a test that covers the material learned during the whole semester, and sometimes the entire school year. The tests assess how much the students have learned and retained, and are usually a large part of a student’s grade. With finals week coming up, some students are getting stressed and struggling to deal with the different challenges that finals week provide. Though there are different ways to deal with stress, the majority of students tend to avoid the stress until it is too late. When asked how he dealt with stress, Freshman Elijah Hoffman said, “I ignore it until I have a mental breakdown.”
Stress is caused by several things, including worrying about failing, setting unrealistic standards for yourself, feeling a need to compete with others, not feeling prepared, not having enough time to study, being pressured from your family and/or yourself, as well as other things. Stress can cause confusion, headaches, tense muscles, feeling overwhelmed, trouble making decisions, lack of motivation and trouble sleeping.
However, there are ways to prevent the stress from finals from overtaking you. Senior Anna Matl reflected on her past finals experiences.
“I started studying a week before every test, but they still really stressed me out. To deal with the stress I meditated, with this great app called Headspace. It calmed me down and made me ready for the tests I had to take,” said Matl.
Similarly, a website called kidshelpline.com.au recommends other ways to help manage stress and tests. “Find a quiet place to study without distractions. Set-up your study space. Make sure it’s not too cluttered and has everything you might need. Find out as much as you can about the exam so you can prepare. Make a plan of what you want to work on in each study session. Break it down into small tasks and work on one task at a time.”
Finals are something that every student in the school has to take, and the stress comes with the tests. There are ways to manage this. Don’t leave studying until the last minute, find a way to calm yourself down, and take a break once in a while.