Current Concerns: Freshmen Finals Edition

Maren McLucas and Tami Aje

I’m a freshman and this is my first year having to prepare for finals, and I’m really nervous. How am I supposed to handle projects and tests for so many classes? I’m scared I’m not going to do well and ruin all my grades. I don’t remember anything I learned before spring break.

Dear Stressed-Out Freshman,

Everything is going to be okay! CAE week can be stressful for everyone, but you’re going to have lots of support, and by the time your exams come around, you’ll be more than prepared.

Just don’t leave all your studying and projects to the last minute. You’re right that being tested on a semester’s worth of material is stressful, but if you start preparing in the next few weeks, you’ll have more than enough time to become confident in all your material.

Also, have some faith in yourself! It may seem overwhelming, but a big part of preparing for the exams is just reviewing past material you’re already familiar with. This means many of your old homework assignments and tests are perfect review materials, and if you want to make studying fun, it is a great idea to have study sessions with your classmates on the weekends or after school. Plus, the week before finals is all review, which means you’ll have built-in class time to review or work on your final projects. And don’t fret about ruining your grades. For freshmen, CAEs are worth only 10% of your second-semester grade. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take them seriously, but these CAE’s really are just great practice for future cumulative exams later in high school and in college.

Additionally, don’t forget all the great resources you have available to you. The Writing Center, the TLC, the MSCC, and the LRC all can help you get organized and help you identify concepts you need to spend more time reviewing.

Whenever it seems more overwhelming than it ought to, talk to Ms. Woods or Mr. Singleton, our counselors, or another trusted adult.

You’ve got this. We’re all rooting for you!