Unpopular Opinion: Finals Are Better Before Break



It’s Christmas Eve. I’m sitting in front of the fireplace drinking hot-cocoa. Sweet Christmas carols are whispering in the background as I smile and laugh with friends and family. A sudden wave of dread falls over me. In less than a week I’ll be back at school, preparing for finals. But wait. I already took my finals, and I have to do nothing school-related for the rest of break. I sit back and take my first real break of the year.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve heard more complaints about finals taking place before break than I’ve heard about the extremely cold weather outside. I personally hate the cold, so I don’t get it. To avoid arguments, and for the sake of my sanity, I’ve refrained from asking people what they really hate so much about the timing of finals this year. I suppose the anger has multiple reasons: some sound, some not.  What seems to be the biggest issue is the lack of time for studying and the fact that there are two “useless” weeks after break. I understand the lack of studying, trust me I do. But the issue isn’t the timing, I think the issue is a lack of organization. This being the first year the new schedule is in place, teachers have struggled to fit in everything they need to before finals. This not only stresses out the well-intentioned faculty, but it creates a catalyst effect on the students. As a student myself, I apologize for the incessant whining and protests by my peers and me. Fighting the system is easier than accepting that there is nothing we can do. After all, procrastination is our superpower.

With the issue of the two weeks after break…well yes they are a bit pointless. Here’s the thing though, most full-year classes are starting second semester as soon as we get back, and semester classes have time for one or two more projects. Most semester classes don’t even have cumulative finals, so the two weeks after can be dedicated to doing something new.

Now that I’ve resolved the two biggest issues, I’d like to discuss the actual pros of finals before break. I’m not sure if you are aware, but teachers are not supposed to give any homework or projects over winter break. To me this is a dream come true. Even if students haven’t studied over break in the past, the fact is that teachers still gave work, and there was always something to put off. Now we don’t have to procrastinate because there is nothing to do. We can finally relax and take a well-deserved nap.

What I can admit is that the new schedule is hitting seniors the hardest. Not only are they preparing for their last, first semester finals, but many of them are hearing back from colleges. Whether it is a denial, deferral, or acceptance, anxiety coincides almost exactly with the week of finals. Many schools are sending out their emails this weekend and next week. This makes it very hard to concentrate on anything but college.

It doesn’t matter whether someone is studying for six  finals or one, the fact is, we are all stressed. I believe people will appreciate the new schedule once next Thursday comes to a close. Until then, I wish everyone the best of luck studying and highly recommend sleep to avoid any future brain aneurysms.