Surviving Exam Season

IMG_1927It’s that dreaded time of the year again. Students scramble to find crumpled quizzes from the fall trimester. Corrections are hastily turned in for those few extra points. The amount of paper in your backpack suddenly doubles as teachers hand out study guide after study guide. Silently, you curse all the times you decided that slacking off was worth that extra episode of Scandal.

The majority of courses have winter exams, which means the majority of students have at least three or four exams. For the freshmen, these exams are your first (and sadly, not your last) in high school. For the sophomores, it’s an almost acceptable routine. Almost…that is, if you weren’t rushing into Mr. Meyer’s house every night, desperately trying to remember that angle-side-side does not prove congruency. For the juniors, it means cramming harder than you ever have before, the dread of what a bad score means for your future dominating your thoughts.

For the seniors? It’s a mix of emotions. Stress? Certainly. For those who are lucky enough to know where they’re going, it’s a balance between relief and anxiety. Having an acceptance rescinded is possibly the worst nightmare a senior could ever imagine. Yet at the same time…it’s almost senior spring. Just one trimester left to go.

Contrary to popular belief, these exams are not the end of the world. For the most part, our teachers are kind and understanding. They do want to see you succeed. Winter exams aren’t intended to break you, and if you’ve put effort into studying, chances are they won’t.

Stress is high at this time of year, which can occasionally lead to breakdowns or anxiety attacks. “Minimize stress by not obsessing over details and take study breaks to go outside,” advises Grace Callander ‘16. This can be just simply stepping out of your room after you’ve been chugging away at memorizing Spanish vocab or rushing out of your dorm at 9:30 for finals treats. Sometimes you also need to prioritize. You don’t need to know every last date in U.S. history. And if you’re in the late 1700s and there’s an argument where you can only remember the name of one person…it’s very likely that the other person involved is Alexander Hamilton.

“Don’t start new romantic relationships during exam week!” Lydia Paxton ‘16 cautions. Though it may seem nice to let off steam during 9:30-10, chances are it might just add to your stress. Save it for after break. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your existing relationships completely though. Even spending just ten minutes with a friend or significant other can do you some good.

Remember: finals won’t last forever, and spring break is only three days away. Keep breathing. You are almost there.