The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Finals

Only a few Decembers ago, I would fight my parents to let me stay up on Christmas Eve, angsty
of the coming day.
I would look out my bedroom window as the sky grew darker, and get up early in the morning in
nervous excitement.
Feeling the cold touch of the wooden floor with every tiptoe, I’d sprint through the house to our
tree, relieved that Santa had indeed dropped off my presents the night before.
Now, as we reach the dusk of the decade, I will find myself fighting to stay up again.
I already see how the coming finals week will play out: I’ll fight through waves of drowsiness,
angsty of each coming day. I’ll look out my bedroom window as the night falls deeper, and the
next day, wake up in a sweat of nervous dread.
The cold touch of the floor reminds me that winter is here, and there is only a week left to push
through until I can be surrounded by the warm comfort of the holidays.

Every high school student can confirm that finals week is rough.

The anxiety of perhaps ruining months of hard work with one test, or of perhaps having the chance to give a grade a good nudge up, is enough to stress out any teenager.

We’ve all been there before, and “don’t cram the night before” advice is often left ignored.

So, here I have compiled a list of realistic advice as a fellow student in the same shoes.

      1. Don’t stay up too late the night before.

Yes, it is so important to brush up on topics and study for the test the day before, but don’t pull an all-nighter. You’ll end up feeling gross and tired in the morning, and going into a two hour final feeling sick is not a good idea.

2. Make review guides.

I do this to help me study. I usually make a review guide of every topic covered that semester, either on Google Doc or by hand. Google Doc is handy if you want to collaborate with friends on making a review guide, but I’ve found that for subjects that require formulas (for example math), it’s less tedious if you just write it all out. Writing also helps you memorize things faster!

      3. Know the finals schedule, and plan ahead.

For example, if you have two of your hardest classes on the same day, make sure you start studying for at least one of them days before. This will help a lot. Use the weekend before wisely!

      4. Try your best and don’t get too stressed.

This advice might be easier said than done, but it’s so important that whatever happens, you can know that you tried your best. If you gave it your all, then there was nothing more you could’ve done and no regrets. The “whatever happens happens” mentality can go a long way, and grades don’t define anyone. Especially right before the test, there’s nothing more you can do, so stressing is unnecessary. Give it your best shot and hope for the best.

This is the advice that I give myself when I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Also, the two week holiday that follows finals is a good bonus.

I wish you all good luck on your finals and a happy happy happy holiday!