Finals should be before Winter Break

Brielle Soifer - Staff Writer, Olivia Felsher - Photographer

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Finals: the most ominous word tossed around by students. Finals week is filled with endless exams assessing whether or not a student has retained a semester’s worth of information; so naturally this week is dreaded by students, especially since they are just returning from winter break. Most students are still in “vacation mode,” reminiscing vivid memories of their holiday adventures. Because of this, students often neglect that they only have three weeks to cram four months of information into their relaxed brains. Finals are weighed so heavily in most teachers’ gradebooks, so students often stress about these huge, sometimes grade-defining exams. Teachers are also left with the burden of reviewing tons of information in less than a dozen days. Winter break’s relaxing connotation is truly stripped away because students can never truly be at ease when they have major tests to worry about and study for. Therefore, finals should take place before winter break.

Students usually spend their entire break studying for finals, resulting in an immense loss of sanity. Some students, however, choose to disregard their upcoming exams, setting themselves up for future failure. Having finals after winter break ultimately defeats the purpose of giving students a break in the first place.

“Last winter break, I found myself struggling with the material and information that I was going to be tested on,” said junior Lorenne Kobi. “The most assistance I could receive was through vague emails between my busy teachers and myself. Having finals before break would provide students with more face-to-face engagement with teachers, which is essential if students want to succeed.”

The three weeks before finals at CHS are dreadful as students stay up all night trying to squeeze information into their already-crowded brains. The tension on campus rises even more as teachers and young individuals put all their efforts into studying and preparing. Mental breakdowns become a norm as the expectation to do well increases.

“I will forever remember being a freshman and being traumatized by a junior bawling her eyes out in the lower quad,” said junior Dennis Erazo. “I later learned it was really because of her upcoming finals. I now truly relate to that junior and feel like mentally breaking down just hearing the word ‘final.’”

In addition to students, teachers also dread the three weeks before finals. They feel as though the courses are not properly paced, leaving them a short amount of time to reteach a bunch of information to their students. Administration understands the pressures placed on students.

“I have always felt as though winter break was a natural way to enter a new semester” said CHS counselor David Rivas. “There is a reason to have a break before the new semester starts; that’s why colleges work that way.”

Understanding the emotional and physical distress placed on CHS students due to finals occurring after winter break is vital. Break is supposed to give every hardworking, sleep deprived student and teacher a chance to breathe and relax. In order for everyone to succeed and feel revived and recollected, finals need to be moved before break. •

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Finals should be before Winter Break