By Joyce LEE, intern
In the midst of decorating Christmas trees and shopping for holiday gifts, the hearts of students at Crescenta Valley High School are not at ease – the dreaded finals week is approaching. Finals week begins on Tuesday, Dec. 16 and ends on Thursday, Dec. 18. The week wraps up the school’s first semester, with most teachers administrating either long exams or engaging projects, and leads into a well deserved two and a half week break.
On the bright side, students are gifted with early dismissal during the days of finals week at 12:30 p.m. All three days of finals are organized in block schedules; each period is approximately two hours long, with the next period starting after a 20-minute recess. Finals for periods one and two will be administered on Tuesday, three and four on Wednesday, and five and six on Thursday.
“I am thankful for early dismissal during finals week because it gives us a free half-day full of greatly needed rest,” said sophomore Brendan Caver. “I would not be happy with a regular day schedule because we would have one test after the other.”
Although teachers assign different work, they share similar preparation.
“Finals week for us [teachers] is this week – the week before the students’ finals week – because we are preparing for finals, accepting late work and inputting grades,” said math teacher Amy Besoli. “Lucky for us, the actual finals week is a breeze.”
It is no secret that many students procrastinate when preparing for finals with many jamming a semester of studying into the weekend before finals week. Procrastination, however, adds additional stress to times already stressful. Fortunately, some students have figured out ways to de-stress.
“Sleep is all I need,” said senior Jacqueline Tsang.
“During my study breaks, I clear my mind and write creative short stories,” said senior Diana Park. “It soothes my nerves.”
“I find it beneficial to study a month for finals at least a month in advance, so that I will be able to relax the week before and during finals week,” said junior Christine Kim. “Then I have the luxury of enjoying the early dismissals by eating lunch with friends instead of trying to cram for the next day’s finals.”
Teachers and counselors agree that rest is indeed a crucial factor in easing anxiety for finals.
“I advise my students to take breaks while studying and reserve time for hobbies,” said counselor Janelle Evans. “It’s important to not let the passion for learning disappear and obsess over [grades].”
“Students need to prepare early so there is less worry to break up the amount of studying. This will also allow them to get good rest before the week of finals. Staying up all night will not help anyone do well,” added social sciences teacher Richard Johnson.
Students should keep in mind that early preparation and plenty of sleep are essential not only for grades, but also for psychological and physiological health.