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Finals Week: A Survival Guide

These last couple of weeks leading up to winter break can be stressful for sure. Finals are rolling around, missing assignments have to be turned in, and cramming must be done in order to get everything done on time. With two weeks of school left the stress is heavy. It is one last push before break, don’t let it drown you. 

Focusing on what has to be done first is the smartest way to get through this last stretch I know sometimes we want to get the bigger projects done first, but if we put off missing assignments or smaller assignments in order to spend time on the bigger ones those small assignments begin to stack up and it is hard to make all of those assignments up on time. Another big thing to remember is to not procrastinate the longer you are out of your assignments the worse it is going to get. I know that homework and schoolwork are not fun but in order to pass your classes you simply have to put in work for a short period of time and then you will get a two-week break from the stress and the pressure you may be feeling right now. There is a lot of work that goes into finals week but putting in the work for these last weeks to pass is better than not doing your work and failing a class you went to for a semester but now you have to take again. School is nobody's favorite thing but it is a part of everyone's life and we have to do it so might as well do it right.

Make sure you use your time in a productive way, if you have something that needs to get done, do it when you have time, don't wait to do it because you might run out of time. I know that it is hard to keep up with everything in our busy teenage lives. I work throughout the week after school, I have volleyball practice three nights a week, as well as school. So I know the stress that comes along with a busy schedule. The only thing that keeps me from not falling behind with assignments is the fact I don’t allow myself to procrastinate, but I also take necessary breaks to make sure I am taking care of myself and my mental health. Going for a walk, checking your phone, getting a snack, and visiting with family are all great ways to give you a brain break. It is important to be able to find a healthy balance throughout the school year. You have to know what you need to get done and how much time you have to get those assignments done. You also have to know what other activities you may have going on so you can work your schedule around them and figure out your time span for work. A great tool to use is a planner or your notes app. I write down every assignment I have for the night and I write down when that assignment is due. This helps me to keep up with my work and helps to remind me what I have going on. 

It can be easy to forget assignments that are mentioned in passing and we may miss them or we don’t think much about them. This can be true in many situations, when we have multiple things going on each night our minds can’t think of just one assignment we have but on everything we have going on that night, another great reason to use a planner or to set reminders for yourself. When I have multiple homework assignments to work on in one night I set a time limit for each assignment using an alarm. I start with the easiest assignment that will take the least amount of time and I work through assignment by assignment in a more efficient way. When it comes down to finals, especially if you are in college classes at Poudre it can be difficult to keep track of what needs to be done and how to fit all your work into such a small time period. Front Range classes end about two weeks before school gets out for break so you will have regular assignments from most classes along with getting ready for finals for your FRCC classes. It is important to communicate with your teachers during this time because your biggest focus should be on the finals. If you are working on other small assignments for other classes and you run out of time to do a good amount of studying you could do badly on your finals which is not what you worked so hard for during the quarter. Communicating with your teachers helps a lot and for the most part, they will be understanding and it will help to lift a weight off of your shoulders.

It is very important that you are not adding extra unnecessary stress to your plate. The more time you spend thinking about what you have to do instead of doing it the more stress you will be feeling. It can be hard to not hyperfixate on the work you have coming up but sitting there and thinking about it does you no good whatsoever. The more work you get done the less stress you feel, so when you are stressed about an assignment work on it, and when that assignment is off your plate and done you will feel a lot better as opposed to sitting and overthinking the assignment. A huge thing that many people don’t think about is that you can’t go home after school every day and do homework, you have to give yourself at least one to two days a week to go out and do something fun. Hang out with friends, go out to eat, go on a date, and just not think about your work for a couple of hours. Our minds never shut off and if all you do is work work work and go go go you are going to be exhausted at the end of each week. 

I know that high school isn’t easy. It is a lot of work, a lot riding on the grades you have, and most people also have to work, play sports, or do extracurricular activities. So high school is a lot to handle. Having a routine makes it nicer, but stuff changes, and schedules have to be shifted around. We need to learn to be flexible and how to work around inconveniences we may face. We all deal with stress as students, teachers, and counselors. It can be hard talking to your teachers but they are humans too and they understand stress just like we do. They will understand to the best of their abilities and they will most likely help you to the best of their ability. Their job is to teach you and help you learn, not to make your life miserable. So be respectful but ask for help and advocate for what you need, they are here to help you.

It is the final push at the end of a long semester, we are almost there! Put in the work for two more weeks and then it is done, finals are done, classes are done, and you get a two-week break to finally relax and regroup yourself. I know it is hard but we can all do hard things and we are all capable of making it through two more weeks of school. We have got this. Good luck to everyone!

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