As you fill in the last bubble on your last final and take a huge sigh of relief, you feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement as you head home for two weeks of holidays, fun and the stress of finals fading into memory. For many years, the conclusion of finals have marked the start of winter break for Naperville North students. Though finals may look a bit different due to being online, one thing is for sure — we will have to finish this semester in January, pushing finals after winter break.
While this reality spurred distaste amongst many North students, other schools in the Naperville area, including Benet Academy in Lisle, have always had their finals after winter break. For some of these students, the two weeks off school have proved advantageous for finals preparation.
“If you think about it, you have more time to study and you still get your winter break, it’s not taken away from you,” Benet junior Margaret Temple said .
At Benet, students have had prior years to familiarize themselves with taking finals after winter break. Benet Junior Amelia Parisi is one of many who prefer taking finals after break because the lessons at the end of the semester are separate from final exam preparation.
“I’ve never found it stressful, I actually like it a lot. I feel like there is a definite end—which is break—to the content in the semester. We can learn up until that point and then we have time to just review,” Parisi said.
Benet junior Jack Madzinski believes that having the time during winter break to focus solely on studying for his finals improves his results. Along with that, Benet has a review week before they take their finals. Similarly to Benet, Naperville North will have nine regular school days before final exams take place, although it is at the discretion of teachers as to how many of these days will be dedicated to reviewing the course material for finals.
“Over break, I can space out my time and I don’t have to worry about any other homework because they don’t assign work other than studying over break,” Madzinski said.
NNHS counselor Molly Murray emphasizes the importance of students’ studying habits before break. She believes that if students stay organized and stick to a schedule, they will be in good shape for enjoying the much-needed downtime over break.
“The most important thing you can do is to organize yourself beforehand and to create a schedule. That way you will put yourself in the position to relax and get away from the screen over break, but you will still be prepared for finals,” Murray said.
The idea of finals after break may seem daunting or stressful to those unused to it, but there are advantages to the new schedule. Afterall, winter break is a time for students to celebrate the holidays, and temporarily remove themselves from school.
“Don’t be in your room studying the whole time. Make sure you spend time with your family because you have to take advantage of that extra time you have over break,” Temple said.