PHOTO: As semester finals approach, students fill the library to study for their exams.
By Stephanie Thompson,
On the morning of his sophomore year English final, junior Aaron Berger endured one of the most difficult finals he had ever experienced.
As soon as he walked into class, he knew he was in for the long haul.
The final his teacher assigned contained eight pages of essay questions pertaining to the book “Call of the Wild.” The test required continuous page flipping to find the answers and lasted for multiple block periods.
Berger remembered being “really anxious going into the test,” since he didn’t know whether or not he would be able to complete it in time. He feared he wouldn’t do well, but scored a 95 percent in the end.
“That was the most hellish final I have ever had,” Berger said.
Students from every grade stress about the most important time in the semester, when they hope all their hard work and long nights of studying pay off in one final test.
For many Davis High students, semester finals are stressful because of the various amounts of demanding work required to do well. Sometimes, one final can be worth a significant part of a student’s final semester grade.
“[Semester finals] stress me out a lot […] because there is a lot of pressure to do well on them,” Berger said.
However, he does feel like the pressure and anxiety this year has decreased compared to last year.
“Having been in high school for longer has given me a better idea as to how to handle the stress,” Berger said.
For seniors, semester finals can be exceptionally nerve-wracking because they can affect college choices, but they can also be less stressful because it’s the last year of high school finals.
“It’s a lot of pressure riding on one test […] and a lot of your grade depends on it,” senior Sonoma Mendez said.
Senior Jenny Silva agreed with Mendez as “some of [the finals] are a big fraction of the overall grade and they can either help you or bring your grade down.”
Sally Springer, a local college admissions consultant, says the stress students feel during finals can actually be a good thing.
“A little stress in itself is not a bad thing — in moderation, it can motivate a student to study and to do better,” Springer said.
However, she adds, “too much stress, though, can have very negative effects, both long and short term.”
She also advises students on how to alleviate anxiety and worry about the upcoming week, explaining how when everything begins to pile up, “it can be helpful for a student to write down everything they need to accomplish.”
“For me, chemistry was one of my hardest finals. I would go talk to my teacher and study as much as I could,” Silva said.
According to Springer, the best way to prepare for finals is to organize your work, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep.
“Setting a realistic study schedule along with a bit of fun built in (short breaks here and there), along with some healthy habits, will help students do their best,” Springer said.