The “FINAL” stretch

Camri Anderson, Staff Writer

Some would say, “It is the most wonderful time of the year.” But students and teachers would say, “It is the most stressful time of the year.” This week was the start of finals week at Jacksonville High School. The stress of finals puts everyone into a panic.

For students finals can be a blessing and a curse. When you receive an A on a final that you know you studied for and spent hours on, it is the best feeling in the world. On the other hand, finals can be the worst thing to happen before the holidays. Students cram three months’ work into a test that you spend one night studying your butt off for because you have six other finals you have to prepare for. This really does not put you in the Christmas spirit. After you have worked so hard that semester to receive an A in the class and it can all be gone in a second when you see your final grade. Not the best present to receive at Christmas time.

The stress that high school students endure during the month before Christmas break is unhealthy, physically and mentally. Students are up until the wee hours of the night and morning looking over study guides, making notecards, memorizing the periodic table, and drinking five cups of coffee just to keep their eyes open. They sit all day long too which does not get their endorphins flowing and makes them tired the entire day. Not to mention you sit hours longer at home because you need to study for your next two exams the following day. Also, most kids have a pit in their stomach before they take the final. They make themselves sick studying due to the lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, and being nervous for the outcome of the test. Then, some students bomb their final because they can’t concentrate. They have pushed themselves so hard that they do not feel well.

Finals can take a toll on your mental health, too. Students stress about checking the final grade calculator, which is a lifesaver, by the way. We also cram all the information we had three months to learn into a major cram session. In addition, some kids have really bad test anxiety. I am one of those kids. Some kids are great students, but as soon as they see a test, they choke. Students need self care days during finals. Maybe taking one final a day would help ease anxiety. Possibly taking a break and leaving for lunch would help students refocus when coming back to take a test or review.

Students don’t just have a hard time during finals, teachers do too. Teachers are crammed to get tests and projects graded during the holidays. They don’t have time to spend with their family doing holiday activities like wrapping presents or baking cookies for their children’s Christmas concerts. The grading component takes their own personal time away from their family. As a daughter of an educator, it was hard seeing my mom so stressed during the holidays and not being able to enjoy Christmas because she was putting final grades in. My mom hardly got presents wrapped before Christmas Eve and sometimes stayed up until the early morning wrapping gifts Christmas day to get everything done.

Finals are a stressful time for students and teachers during the holiday season. It’s crunch time, and I don’t mean crunching on the peppermint bark your mom makes or doesn’t have time to make if she’s a teacher. Good luck on your finals, high school students and good luck grading, teachers. May your B’s turn into A’s, your grades stay bright, and hopefully your Christmas will be white.