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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Why I Love Finals Week

Elizabeth Liang

   Listen, I know you’ve just read the headline and are thinking, “Who actually likes finals week?” And I bet you’ve already started making remarks in your head like, “You’re just a freshman,” “Your classes are easy” or “Just wait till junior year.” 

   I don’t want to deny those statements or prove to you why finals week is the best. Instead, I want to discuss the experience I had last semester with finals, and how I hope to continue this feeling for the next couple of years.

   During my first final, I was so anxious about the idea of a “final exam,” which I’d never had before. But as I braced myself for the hardships and tribulations I would endure, the week was already over. Not only did it pass by like a blur, but it was surprisingly thrilling. 

   The final gave me a chance to reflect on how much I had learned and grown in a semester, all in two and a half hours. My main takeaway was not my score or my GPA, but this dizzying feeling of fulfillment. 

   ”I think that it’s a really nice change of pace from having school five days a week from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.,” senior Raghav Ramgopal said. 

   After months and months of the same eight periods, it was rejuvenating to be able to sleep in, go to school for a few hours and then be free for the rest of the day. With this format, I can dedicate 110% of my energy to the final in the morning, and then go home and leisurely study for the next test.

   “I think finals week is a matter of prioritization and time management,” Ramgopal said. “So if you are feeling stressed out, that’s because you didn’t really study beforehand.”

   English teacher Sabrina Strand finds that students often do score lower on the final than in the class. 

   “In general, people do score lower on the final exam … the biggest reason is that your class grade has a lot of buffers in it,” Strand said, referring to homework, classwork and participation grades. “Your final exam is your content mastery.”

   Despite the fact that your grade might dip, Strand advocates that finals are necessary to assess true learning and retain more information. 

   “The final is not going to be a grade boost for most people,” Strand said. “So that just gives you more incentive to make sure that in the regular class, you’re really staying on top of everything.”

   Strand also vocalized how stress can be decreased if students look at finals logically.

   “It’s actually really important to detach yourself from the focus on grades and remember the reason behind it,” Strand said. “Studies have shown that when you review cumulatively you retain a lot more from the class.”

   While finals week can seem inessential, there is a rationale—and some pretty great perks too! So as we start to prepare for the most whiplashing week of the semester, try to hold on to the adrenaline and pride that comes with completing a final. 

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