The Communicator

The Storm Before the Calm

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The Storm Before the Calm

Olivia Lyle sits on the ledge of the third floor hallway in Community High School. She was talking about having anxiety for her upcoming Spanish test. “I kind of wish finals where before break while everything is still kind of fresh in mind especially with math I kind of have to relearn everything cause I forgot it. I’m not really used to school again so I got to get used to it. I feel like though most of my classes there’s a lot of like review for the final so it’s not that bad,” said Lyle.

Olivia Lyle sits on the ledge of the third floor hallway in Community High School. She was talking about having anxiety for her upcoming Spanish test. “I kind of wish finals where before break while everything is still kind of fresh in mind especially with math I kind of have to relearn everything cause I forgot it. I’m not really used to school again so I got to get used to it. I feel like though most of my classes there’s a lot of like review for the final so it’s not that bad,” said Lyle.

Miel Bogart

Olivia Lyle sits on the ledge of the third floor hallway in Community High School. She was talking about having anxiety for her upcoming Spanish test. “I kind of wish finals where before break while everything is still kind of fresh in mind especially with math I kind of have to relearn everything cause I forgot it. I’m not really used to school again so I got to get used to it. I feel like though most of my classes there’s a lot of like review for the final so it’s not that bad,” said Lyle.

Miel Bogart

Miel Bogart

Olivia Lyle sits on the ledge of the third floor hallway in Community High School. She was talking about having anxiety for her upcoming Spanish test. “I kind of wish finals where before break while everything is still kind of fresh in mind especially with math I kind of have to relearn everything cause I forgot it. I’m not really used to school again so I got to get used to it. I feel like though most of my classes there’s a lot of like review for the final so it’s not that bad,” said Lyle.

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On the eighteenth of December, Olivia Lyle was trying to finish her homework and round out her grades before winter break. This is not a new prospect to her anymore she says her anxiety around this used to be a lot worse towards her grades during her freshman year. “I wasn’t used to it so whenever there was that red arrow showing that my grade went down didn’t help,” Lyle said.

 

Now, as a junior, as the end of the first semester draws nearer, she reflects back on past semesters. “In the past I was probably more nervous about [finals],” said Lyle. “but now that I’ve gotten pretty used to finals because (of how long I have been) here. I’d say I’m most nervous about some specific classes that I don’t have as high of a grade in since that doing badly on the final could effect that grade.”

 

Many other students I have talked to also regarded finals as a time when they are hoping to wrap up their final grades for the semester. However, due to the continuation of the semester after winter break, some students are thrown for a loop.

 

One of the reasons for this was that it would possibly be easier to study for finals than to try to refresh one’s memory after some time off. “I kind of wish finals were before break while everything is still kind of fresh in mind especially with math I kind of have to relearn everything cause I forgot it. I’m not really used to school again so I got to get used to it.” said Lyle. “I feel like though most of my classes there’s a lot of like review for the final so it’s not that bad.”

 

Eventually, this process of structure can both motivate and demotivate students greatly. For many students the processes of studying are very unhelpful because of how unpredictable and sometimes inflexible it can be. On the other hand, this kind of structure can motivate students to get things done because of these strict deadlines. Some of these students can also respond positively to structured and unstructured curriculums both negatively and positively.

 

“Things that have like really stressed me out is when I didn’t study for a final until the night before and I have done that before but most of the time I start studying like the weekend before. But studying for one subject straight for an extended period of time within one day is very stressful for me so I like to split it up into chunks so ill study for 20 min take a break and go back to it until I feel like I have studied enough really for me taking those is like very helpful but also giving myself time to study and not studying the night before the test,” said Lyle.

 

However, Lyle also talks about how much she benefits from structured schools like Community High School. After  she went to an untraditional middle school that had no grades and set no due dates.“I was definitely a little more stressed out in the beginning just because it was different but I feel like for a lot of people it was different too like the transition between middle school and high school is a big one and it affects everyone differently. But for me it was like pretty stressful at first but that was mostly it,” Said Lyle

 

While reflecting on her drastic transition from middle school to high school she considered the possibility that anxiety still had a huge role to play in the that had motivation had kept her plowing on

 

“Yeah, I don’t really feel motivated. Like freshman and sophomore year I would always be on top of it and always be doing my homework and stuff and now I just don’t really feel like doing that so that is something I am trying to work on getting better at and not procrastinating,” Lyle said. “I think probably just being in a new environment. I went to a middle school that didn’t really give grades or set due dates and was just like honestly daycare.”

 

After having focused on managing her stress for a few years she has found that certain routine strategies helped her a lot. Some like, “Usually I have soccer practice which is really good because its a break from studying and I can kind of like focus on that which gives me a break from studying,” Said Lyle.

 

Looking back on time for her which she describes as a very anxious time in her life she has made leaps and bounds in learning how to manage her stress. “I would say that I think I was like really anxious about my grades freshman year and it was really bad. I would constantly be checking PowerSchool and it’s not really helpful either when they give you notifications every single time your grades go down,” said Lyle. “Whenever that happened it made me really upset. I wasn’t used to it so whenever there was that red arrow showing that my grade went down didn’t help.”

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