The final countdown

With the end of the school year in full swing, students can’t get the idea of summer out of their heads. Only one thing stands in the way of that freedom from school, and it proves to be a difficult obstacle every year- final exams.

After an entire semester of tests, quizzes, projects and classwork, students are expected to review all of the material they have learned and show teachers what they have learned through just one test. This is a stressful time for all DHS students because they don’t want to sacrifice their final semester grades, but also do not want to spend their time studying. The combination of summer weather finally returning and other distractions can make tackling the finals even more daunting.

“It’s rough because we all wish we could be playing outside like the good ‘ol days,” junior Josh Pasek said. “Especially with all the grad parties the weekend before exams, it’s definitely an appealing and food guaranteeing distraction from work left unfinished.”

Finals are an inevitable part of the school year, and many students have found the ways that work best for them when it comes to studying. Some have stuck to studying by themselves, but others have found that working in a group is more efficient and a good way to get the necessary work done.

“I worked on my government study guide with Nick Hittsman and Ethan Jodoin and it made studying a lot better,” sophomore Zachary Metiva said. “We used the modern technology of TeamSpeak and it was great being able to study in the comfort of my own home whilst studying with my friends.”

Another method of group studying students at DHS have turned to is through the website and app Quizlet. Quizlet allows users to create flashcard sets and share them with other students online and through the app. If one person makes a Quizlet set, it virtually allows the rest of the class to use the same study materials and prepare for the exam through their own personal devices

“Quizlet has been great because I can access it from my phone and I don’t need to carry around multiple sheets of paper with me,” sophomore Cayetano Wagner said. “I like being able to study wherever I am with such easy access and it’s really nice that people in some of my classes have made sets of flashcards on the app that a bunch of us can study from and use to prepare for the finals.

Still, some students still prefer to stick on their own and like to keep their exam studying to themselves. Working alone can be more productive in many instances and lets the student concentrate on what they think is the most important for themselves.

“I like to study by myself at the library because it forces me to focus so I am more productive,” sophomore Bailey Flint said. “I tend to have a lot of work to do, so when I think of it all at once I get overwhelmed. I try to just take things one subject at a time. Sometimes I reward myself with a five minute break after I finish working on a subject and that helps me keep motivated through all of my studying.”

After four years of hard work in high school, the senior class is always relieved to have the burden of second semester finals off their shoulders as well. This makes their last days at DHS more enjoyable and less stressful than the end of the year for other students. This time allows the seniors to truly cherish their final days in high school and spend time with their friends rather than studying.

“I would equate the feeling of not having second semester exams to being a chicken on Thanksgiving,” senior Emma Bouck said. “No one is hunting you and you can just chill with all your chicken friends.”

For freshmen on the other hand, exams are still relatively new and can be difficult to prepare for. Their lack of experience in the high school environment in itself can be a definite obstacle and can hold them back from being totally efficient.

“It’s been very stressful having to deal with studying for exams this spring,” freshman Abbey Cook said. “Because it will only be my second time taking exams I still am working on figuring out what ways of studying work best for me and what classes I should spend the most time studying for.”

The more experience students have with exams, the more comfortable they seem to be with preparing for them. Sophomore Afua Ofori-Darko does not get as panicked for exams as she did last year because she knows what to expect now, and has realized that the test grades do not impact her as much as they might other students and knows how she learns and prepares the best.

“I try not to stress out for exams because I always do well enough in the marking periods that my grade won’t be affected a lot even if I bomb an exam,” Ofori-Darko said. “Studying for me is pretty difficult, because I have a really short attention span, but I have good memorization skills and I can use that to my advantage to do well on my exams.”

All in all, students at DHS all approach the time of final exams in slightly different ways, but the reward of summer keeps them motivated through it all. While it can be one of the most stressful weeks of the year, the lingering idea of a break from school and a fresh start in the fall is just what students need to make it through their last week.

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Megan Pisarczyk

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