Race to the finish


Study Time: Senior Jake Gallagher studies in the media center on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Finals week begins next Monday, Dec. 16.

Grace Vance

As a closing tribute to the year, I have a few last words. When the crazy scramble for getting good grades at the end of the year comes, even those who have maintained an acceptable grade average feel time management skills slipping and acute stress levels that rise through the roof. In the midst of this hectic schedule, it can be hard to relax. Sometime I feel like my stress levels are tipping me over the edge and there is no. way. out.
Because of this, I feel inclined to share what I have learned over the years about managing my time, getting adequate sleep and fighting off negative thoughts – all things that can come from stress.
With finals still ahead, here are my tips for a graceful finish to the end of the year:

  1. When you feel like the pressure of your growing workload is about to cave in on you, try to envision your end goal. Consider where you are now and where you want to be, and if you need inspiration, think of how far you’ve come in your progress. Maybe you wanted to adopt more efficient study skills. Start with small steps that can slowly progress closer to your end goal. Starting little habits are a great way to achieve goals and I love how I can see steady results!
  2. While it may seem hard to think about this while trying to organize your word load, in my personal experience, the more I pushed myself and agonized about not doing my work when time allowed, the greater my stress levels rose. So when I stopped putting pressure on myself to do the work, the less my thoughts were constantly compromised and the more I wisely I used my time. It was like my thoughts were cleared up and I could tackle situations with an open mindset. All of the sudden, the two hours I would normally spend scrolling online was used toward productive work. Although this tactic works well for me, I realize that everyone has different learning styles and varying personalities when it comes to work and organization of their thoughts. Maybe you perform well under pressure and need to start putting more demand on your self to make changes. Or maybe you’re like me and you need a breather. Find what helps you do your best and stick to it.
  3. Even though it can feel hard to get through finals or any other tough task in your life, remember, progress takes time. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first to successfully climb Mount Everest, did not trek the enormous mountain in one day. In fact, it usually takes days upon weeks to trek the 29,035-foot summit. After all of struggling through the icy winds and impossible heights, they found themselves at the top of the mountain. Victory. But this account of success is not limited to those two brave men; anyone can achieve their goals whether that be acing a test, improving in a sport or starting a habit.
  4. No time to relax and rest your mind? Even if your schedule is so packed you can’t think straight, always remember that you do not find time, you make it. Look closer at your to-do list. Is there anything you could switch out for time to yourself? If not, take little 10-20 minute breaks when your brain needs a rest. I often do this and find myself more refreshed and ready to handle the remainder of the day when I do this. Give it a try, you might just make it a part of your studying routine!
  5. Speaking of routines, if you find it hard to get yourself to study or prepare for something like finals, now is always a good time to better your tendencies. Like mentioned before, don’t overload yourself with a big goal that doesn’t feel attainable. If you start small, you might feel overwhelmed, and when starting a habit, it is essential to avoid that feeling of unease. At first it may seem too difficult, but in my experience, once you get over the hurdle it is a thousand times easier.
  6. When all else fails, just breathe. Talk it out with a friend. Let yourself take a break. Sometimes the most helpful thing is giving your brain a break from thinking about the same issue for long periods of time. After you do this, you might just find that you can look at the situation with more clarity than before. In the midst of chaos, understanding beyond the curriculum and knowing your self can be the most valuable tool. Sometimes that is all you can do, and I think that is important to recognize.

I hope that this inspires you to accomplish another equally important task: relaxation. It is just as vital to your future as good grades. In fact, I believe that the two go hand in hand. Without health, the body has no energy or stamina to do good quality that you are proud of. With this in mind, I hope that these tips help you in school and in life. Finals are still to come, but there is much more ahead!
By Grace Vance