Freshmen firsts

Freshmen conquer their first finals


Photo by Photo by Annette Suk

While many are intimidated by the thought of finals, some freshmen were surprised of the easiness of them. Studying and preparing for finals can be just as difficult as taking the final itself.

 High school is another level of difficulty than middle school. Middle schools prepare 8th graders for their freshmen year, but for them to witness the high school life is different. The inevitability of finals brings about a certain fear, as students realize they must study all the material from the beginning of the year. Preparing for finals is stressful enough, but taking the final in the given time can be just as difficult, if not more. For the veterans of finals, juniors and seniors, they have more experience than the underclassmen. As for freshmen, who have no experience, their perspective is different.  

For the newcomers of finals, they must learn to find their own tactics to study and work under pressure. However, despite the belief that finals are complicated and aggravating, three freshmen stated their finals were far less intimidating than what they were expecting. Ryan Siegel, freshman, said his finals were a lot easier than he had thought they would be.

“I definitely feel like they were way below [my expectations]. I was expecting a lot more questions that would be a lot harder. People make it a lot harder than it really is. For the first few [finals], I felt pretty solid and as I got to the harder ones for me, I got really stressed,” Siegel said.

While the exams were below this freshman’s expectations, time management was an issue to manage. For Sarah Frosch, freshman, she found complications during her harder finals, like Geometry. She realized that managing her time while completing all the Geometry problems were a lot more difficult.

“I think the biggest problem was that I was stressed about the time. I was like, ‘oh no! I only have 30 minutes left!’, and then I had a whole other section to do. But really, it wasn’t that big of a problem except for extended responses. That stressed me out a lot,” Frosch said. “I would flip through the test and I would be looking at them, and I would be like, ‘there’s so many questions.’”

Much like the upperclassmen, the freshmen prepared for their finals by collaborating with friends and utilizing online resources such as Quizlet. YouTube, and Khan Academy. The old study methods of flashcards and handwritten notes were used as well. Paige Grossenbacher, freshman, took the advantage of given study guides as well as the resource of her friends.

“Some of my teachers didn’t give me a study guide, so that was a little hard. But I asked friends and we talked to each other about what we should study and that helped,” Grossenbacher said.

At first, the freshmen felt pressured and feared the thought of finals. After all the finals were completed, their thoughts changed. Due to the guidance of teachers and their preparation for the finals, they realized their finals were not as difficult as others made it to be.

“It was a lot less stressful than I thought. Everyone was really relaxed about everything and there wasn’t really that much pressure put on them,” Frosch said. “In middle school, they say finals are the most important thing you’re ever going to take. But as soon as you take the finals, it’s fine and you’ll do great when you try. Your grade won’t be too affected either.”