Finals do not define you

Megan Lee | The Chronicle

Amidst the three long weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, the countless hours of school work, studying and striving to stay motivated are starting to show. Now more than ever it takes strength to keep yourself in a position to stay motivated through the holiday season, especially doing the thing most dread during the holidays: schoolwork. 

It goes without saying that at Mason High School (MHS) we pride ourselves on our grades and achievements. However, students are sent into what we often believe to be drastically weighed, stressful tests just before the holidays. Just like any sort of pressure, finals consume the thoughts of students and we start to see grade calculations and GPA calculators all over the place. 

With final exams starting to return after Covid, it is easy to forget that as students, part of the work is being motivated to grow. With most final exams ranging from ten to fifteen percent of a student’s final grade, it is easy for mistakes or slip-ups to happen. Taking one rough final does not define you as a student. 

I am not saying that we shouldn’t have some sort of “final exam” but I do prefer the ones that are closer related to group projects or activities. Long, daunting tests, especially after a tough semester, can be difficult for students to manage. Regardless of the type of assignment, students must not use this final grade as a way to diminish the work they have previously done. Growth and passion are more important than a final test. 

We have become consumed with the idea that even if a student has received certain grades all year, they could eventually end with a lower one due to a bad exam score. At the end of the year, it can become overbearing to be obsessed with doing well on one specific test, even for students who have achieved consistent A’s all year. 

Especially in December, it is important to prioritize the need for support and encouragement for our actions. The weighted finals offered at MHS strive to ensure students have an equal chance to do well, we just have to protect the wellbeing of those who are struggling to stay motivated.

Finals week is full of worry, preparation and at times, defeat. Working toward helping prepare those who are anxious and relaxing those who are overstressed, we can promote a healthy mindset toward finals that does not seem so demanding. One test, on one specific day, does not define who you are as a student or a person.