Senior Advice for Freshman: Semester Finals


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One of the most dreaded weeks by students is quickly approaching: finals week.

Courtney Huitt, Photojournalist

As the holidays approach nearer and nearer, so do the dreaded semester finals. Almost resembling the calm before the storm, once returning from winter break, student and teachers here at YLHS go into full review mode for the few remaining weeks of the semester to prepare for finals. Although we are almost halfway into the year, the seniors of YLHS are here to give their advice to freshmen around finals week in attempts to navigate them through this upcoming stressful time.


“Even though my advice would seem to be obvious and common sense,” Jacob Padgett (12) begins, “I would have to say the number one thing that I would recommend for students is to not develop the habit of procrastination.” Padgett continues to say that comprehensive tests that cover everything you have learned so far in that class may seem daunting. He advises that the earlier you begin studying the better because “you will perform the best on your finals when you are as prepared as possible.”


Through Ryan Lamb’s (12) past three years at YLHS, the biggest lesson that he has learned is to “focus on improving yourself academically than focusing too much on comparing yourself to and competing with others.” Lamb admits that one aspect of finals that gave him the most stress was worrying about doing better than others on the test. He says that he would put a fairly large amount of pressure on himself to out-compete the other students and feel like a complete failure when all the stress would get to him and he would not perform as well as others in the class. “Finals can be a stressful time,” Lamb contends, “so there is no need to add the extra stress on yourself of achieving perfection and being the best in the class. What matters is that you put in the effort and did your best.”


Finals may seem pretty hectic. You may feel like you are drowning in a sea of information that teachers are trying to cram in before the test. Because of this, Payton Janish (12) advises freshman to stay organized; “if your notes and study guides are all jumbled around in your backpack, there is a greater chance that you will lose important papers or that single magical cheat-sheet note card that your teacher passed out but will not replace if you lose.” Janish also says that she is at a greater peace of mind and can think clearer when her backpack is organized. With this, Janish also suggests to “develop effective study habits when you are a freshman.” Whether it be creating flashcards or outlining chapters of the textbook, study skills are very important and can significantly help you throughout high school and onto college. Janish suggests for students taking AP classes to obtain AP review books; “instead of rereading full-length chapters of textbooks, AP review books are a great way to study because the condense all of the important information into less reading.” If buying an AP review book is difficult, you can always check one out from the library or borrow one from a friend who previously took the class.


Hopefully, some of this advice from YLHS’ seasoned seniors will be of help. Nevertheless, have a fun winter break students, but remember to not let finals week creep up on you without you knowing.