Annual Struggles

Finals week and college application deadlines are approaching.

Nathan Roberts and Lauren VerBrugge

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It’s that time of the year again. A time to forget about the lovely holidays. A month of terror for some. As finals near, students are starting to cram and study in a hurry to prepare. It’s a whirlwind of chaos and emotions as stress runs high to pull grades up by the end of year. It is an annual emotional rollercoaster for not only students, but for teachers as well.

“I prepare with a lot of coffee, a lot of Schoology – you gotta look back at your old notes,” Junior Té Nickerson said. “I cry a lot because you know it gets really emotional during finals because it’s stressful. I do talk to my teachers in classes I need help with so they can review with me. I also try to get a lot of sleep if possible.”

Students have many different study strategies, but some wish that teachers helped them prepare in other ways, instead of just working through the study guides.

“A few of my teachers, they just say, ‘look over all the class material’,” sophomore Brady Chung said. “Which is hard for me, because there are like a hundred pieces of paper!”

Finals can be quite the transition for underclassmen as they are still adjusting to high school. The high energy and stress around the tests adds extra pressure on them to do well. However, some sophomores believe that they have had the chance to get used to the finals preparation, and feel that they know how finals week works.

“I think they will be a bit easier because I’m more used to the format that they are giving it in and the difference between middle school and high school,” Chung said. “And now that I’ve had one year here, I should have a better understanding on what is expected.”

There are many different opinions on when students should begin to start studying for their finals. Some don’t take the time to study, which is less stressful, but other students have already planned when they will begin to study for their hardest finals. Even freshman around the school have already began to plan time to study.

“I start studying about a week before,” freshman Thomas McGrath said. “My hardest finals are probably going to be Physics and Algebra 2. I usually look over my notes and look at the textbooks for my classes and read over them once a day so I try to be constant with studying.”

Not only do the finals stress students out, but the college application deadlines for seniors are just as stressful as well. Deadlines for a lot of scholarships end a week before, or during finals week. The deadline for scholarship applications for the University of Missouri is December 15th, which is the Friday before winter break.

Most college acceptance applications are due in early December, just a couple weeks before finals. Some college applications require an essay, which is mostly used for scholarship applications, but some colleges require them just to be accepted by the school.

“I’ve gotten lucky that I didn’t have to do an essay because it seems to be a massive hassle,” Senior Ben Abernathy said. “I’ve had mail sent to me by a couple schools that have told me that I just put in my username and password to an account they made me that makes it so I can bypass the essay requirement that’s usually the biggest determinant.”
Although applying for colleges is emotional and a big point in a senior’s life, the application process seems to be more important than preparation for finals.

“I’ve definitely been leaning in favor of applications over finals,” Abernathy said. “My grades might take a slight hit, but I’d like to think [that] it’s worth it.”

Although finals and college app madness is still going to be going strong through most of December, we can all look forward to a long winter break full of fun with family and the holidays. Hang in there kewps!

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