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Foothill Tech students and teachers share their perspectives on finals week as semester one comes to a close

Ella Asher
During the week of Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, 2024, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) students endured finals week. Sleepless nights, study sessions and caffeine took over the week as students prepared for a culmination of semester-ending assessments.

Amidst the stress and late-night study sessions, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) students found themselves grappling with the challenges of finals week, from Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, 2024.

I think there is something valuable in wrapping up the semester in some way.

— Jennifer Kindred

Foothill Tech, as with most high schools, implement a special finals bell schedule to accommodate for longer class periods. For example, classes are two hours long, instead of the usual hour and a half. This provides students with ample time for each final exam while reducing the number of classes per day.

Despite the high-stress environment finals can create on a campus, students and teachers alike acknowledge the purpose behind these culminating assessments. Channing McClure ‘25 emphasized the objective of finals as a means to, “see where you are and finalize that chapter of what you learned.” Foothill Tech teachers echo this sentiment, with science teacher Emily Hunt stating that, “final exams are intended to help students review and revisit the curriculum from the semester.”

A group of students gathered at a table in the E-pod study for their rigorous finals that are one the horizon. From flash cards to text books, students squeeze in study sessions in between classes and during break, striving for that A+ that they deserve. Pushing through the week, students and staff are eagerly waiting for the three day weekend ahead. (Taylor Schmidt)

Additionally, Hunt shared her perspective on the importance of finals, stating, “I think it is important that we have finals because many of our students are headed to college next and they will be expected to take high stakes finals and testing.” She also provided insight into her approach to grading, incorporating strategies like giving an essay portion early in the week for more time to grade and utilizing online testing for quick grading.

To cope with the stress of finals, students and teachers share their methods of reducing the stress load during this challenging week. According to Jennifer Kindred, English and drama teacher at Foothill Tech, preparation is instrumental in reducing stress. In order to do so, Kindred advises students to, “study … get enough sleep … and eat well.” Kindred believes that much of the stress comes from a lack of proper planning and encourages students to focus on effective study habits.

Tori Phillips ‘24, a student caught in the finals week whirlwind, opened up about the anxiety tied to the weight of exams on her overall grade. “I don’t do very well on tests, and the fact that this is the majority of our grade is stressing me out,” Phillips expressed.

In the grand scheme of things, some students question the long-lasting impact of finals. Phillips expresses her view, stating, “I am not going to remember any of this in five years anyways. I feel like it’s more of a test of memory than it is the actual material.”

Teachers have given us a big load [of work].

— Channing McClure ‘25

Many look forward to the conclusion of this long and pain-staking week of tests. Phillips expressed how she was looking forward to, “not having to study and having free time.” Additionally, McClure shared her excitement for a much-needed break after finals are over.

The long and taxing finals week will trudge to a conclusion on Jan. 26, 2024. This date also marks the end of the first semester. While students may wish to forget the stressors and long-nights of finals week, many look optimistically at the dawn of a new semester and a fresh start.

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About the Contributors
Ella Asher
Ella Asher, Reporter
A junior who loves the ocean and chai lattes.
Taylor Schmidt
Taylor Schmidt, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer who enjoys spending time with my family, friends and sleeping in.

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