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The Friends of Finals

Finals. Those six letters that can cause more panic, stress and unmatched anxiety than any test could. They vary from school to school, some counting as much as 30% of your final grade (my school) and others barely counting as a test grade. Still, we worry and fret over that last chance to kick our scores up. Teenagers spend days upon days trying to recall those formulas they barely knew the first time around. How am I supposed to learn Spanish 2 by Friday?! If your finals are sneaking their evil head around, I’ve listed some common studiers you’re going to meet, and how to handle them.
1.
Stressed and Obsessed
a.
Fourteen notebooks, a thousand index cards, and a study guide that would make that tree-hugger cry. The Stressed and Obsessed are those who got their planned studying done early, but are still convinced it will be wiped from memory like a Men in Black movie the day of the test. You might encounter this over-eager scholar in her bedroom rocking back and forth wondering how she is going to retain a year’s worth of information in only a day or less. Don’t panic (unless they start hyperventilating, that sounds serious). Do not tell them they are overreacting. If you do, it is your own fault for whatever result you get. The usual might be anger, crying, or eating. In most cases, all three.
b.
To deal with one suffering from Stressed and Obsessed, offer some constructive guidance. Study groups are a less stressful way to learn, so grab your most focused friends, a pizza, and crack open a book. The SAO will be reluctant at first, for fear she won’t get anything done with her closest friends there. Assure her it is just the opposite. Even if you’re lying, it will calm her down. If you’re a comical kind of kid, blast Jonas Brothers song Paranoid at any possible opportunity. It is a classic.
2.
Tired and Uninspired
a.
Summer is so close you can almost hear the seagulls cawing for your leftover fries. But alas, it is not yet summer, and you need to study more than you have all year. Right? Wrong! Why not just not study, take the bad grade, and prepare your body for the beach! This mentality plagues the minds of many during finals week. The question of whether the test even matters is tossed over in minds and joked among classmates. These are the most common, and I myself am a survivor.
b.
Maybe the most difficult to manage, the Tired and Uninspired are easily distracted and need constant reinforcement to be productive. Try skype studying, or team them up with a Stressed and Obsessed. The Stressed will either scare them into studying, or turn them too into a SAO too. Two SAO’s are easier to manage, as they can then worry in packs. Keep other TAI’s away, as together they will complete nearly nothing. Don’t have a SAO? Try quizlet. It uses games and mini-tests instead of usual repetition, keeping studying bearable.
3.
Smart and Start
a.
The name might confuse you, but you definitely know these kids. Those kids who seem Tired and Uninspired, but whip out some of the greatest feats of academic achievement ever seen at the last minute. Probably most annoying to the Stressed and Obsessed, these prodigies will spend maybe five minutes pre-exam to study, and end up with a better grade. They are smart and will be on the essay before you can answer the first question.
b.
Not much is to be done about a SAS (appropriately pronounced “sass”). While you may have the urge to shoot them out of exhaustion and your B average, please refrain from doing so. It is only by pure luck they got that brain. Plus, the SAS have an increasingly difficult time in colleges, as they may retain loads of information, but have zero work ethic. Do not envy them. Okay, maybe a little, but in the long run, a well-earned 85 is better than a lucky 96. Also, studying with a SAS is frustrating and irritating. They don’t understand why you can’t remember the date of the Battle at Bull Run, and you just want to punch them. Don’t, violence is not needed. Keep calm and study on, separately.
While we all have final exams, no two people are exactly the same. Some stress for weeks, others forget they even have a test. With the right attitude and a good study technique, you will do fine on any exam. Just remember, a bad grade isn’t the end of the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Whether you are a bit Stressed and Obsessed, yearning for summer in Tired and Uninspired, naturally gifted in Smart and Start, or a little of all, every kid, like every test, is different. Happy studies!



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