FINALLY! A Highschooler’s Guide to staying relaxed during finals


Madelaine Steffen, Feature Editor

     There’s a certain element of dread, exhaustion and stress that comes with each holiday season. When the workload begins to pile up and students beg teachers for extra credit, this next-level pressure time of year is named finals week. 

      Teenagers are severely stressed. The American Psychology Association (APA)’s studies show that during the school year, teens report that their stress levels are higher than those reported by adults. Teens ranked their stress at 5.8 out of 10, while the adults sit at 5.1. 

      These levels of stress are unhealthy for both teens and adults, as stress causes an impact on sleeping and eating properly. 

“Of the 23 percent of teens who report skipping meals in the past month due to stress, 39 percent say they do this weekly or more.” The APA said. 

      In addition to skipping meals, teens are missing sleep due to their stress. As reported by the APA, The National Sleep Foundation recommends 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night, yet teens are only getting 7.4 hours. The lack of rest is due to studying and homework. 

     An NYU study surveyed 128 high school students on their stress levels. “About half (48 percent) of those surveyed reported completing at least three hours of homework a night, with girls 40 percent more likely to report three or more hours of homework a night than boys.”

      Multiple hours of work on top of extracurriculars is detrimental to teens mental health.  

      NYU’s study also showed that 26 percent of participants have severe symptoms of depression at a “clinically significant level”, derived from their stress to do well in school. 

So teens are tired, malnourished, and sad because of school. Especially during finals, how can that change for the better? 

      Princeton posted a list of studying strategies to stay low on stress during finals. 

       An important way to start studying is to start early. There are no positives to breaking out the flashcards at midnight the night before, instead, get together with friends a week or two before finals, and study together. By speaking the material you’re studying, the facts you need to know stick in your head easier. 

      Another key to nailing your finals is to prioritize rest as much as studying. Getting a proper night of sleep and eating healthy is just as important as memorizing material for a class. Taking breaks actually improves your focus and will help you in studying.

      It’s essential to your final grade that you find a studying method that works for you, manage your time well, and get the healthy amount of nutrition and rest that your body needs.