With the school year coming to an end, and summer starting, it can be a time of happiness and excitement for the upcoming summer break. However, for most middle school, high school, and college students, it is a time of stress and the last weeks of school are ridden with an abundant amount of studying. But what is the effect of these anxiety-ridden tests?
For most students, a final is the deciding grade that mostly affects the letter in their report card. Each student reacts to stress differently, however stress can negatively impact the way students perform on tests and other tasks, such as presentations, homework, essays, etc. Most students in this generation suffer from anxiety; 80% of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder and 60 % of kids with diagnosable depression are not getting treatment. The added stress from the finals at the end of the semester only increase the psychological and emotional impact felt on students.
With back-to-back finals from each subject, students are bound to be focusing and studying whenever they can. This impacts their sleep schedule, with the all-nighters studying, which decreases their chances of staying awake during class and really paying attention. Students will probably not be as active either, spending school, after school, before school, weekends, and everything in between at a desk. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, and sitting in one place for an extended period of time affects the mind negatively, making it tired and decreases productivity.
Another way some students’ stress lets them negatively perform is through their dietary choices. Many students turn to junk food- such as sugary foods and caffeinated drinks or energy bars, hoping for a surge in energy to keep them awake and aware. However, this diet will lead to overall exhaustion, and students should stick to long term energy-boosting foods.
While the end of school should be a time of anticipation for the summer break, it usually is a time of increasing anxiety and lots of studying. With the constant distraction of other things in students’ lives, such as social media and anything not pertaining to the actual studying material, it can be very difficult to perform at a certain level to achieve the expected grades to succeed in whatever students’ are trying to accomplish.
The stress from teachers, parents, themselves, and the goals students try to achieve can be overwhelming and end up making finals week a very demeaning, very long and difficult time to get through. Though it sometimes feels impossible to survive through the week, as long as students stay on task, stay healthy emotionally and physically, eat/drink healthy, energizing foods, and work hard, even finals can become bearable.
And, once finals are completed, the summer break can be enjoyed truly the way it was supposed to be.
Hannah Sung, Grade 8
Rosemont Middle School