Too Much, Too Fast: Shortcomings of Preuss Finals Schedule

Angelina Abdelrahman, Editorial Editor

Universities and various high schools experience finals and ending semesters before the winter break, which results in a stress-free winter break for students. Preuss’s policy is different in that finals occur a week after winter break is over. This schedule can be problematic for students.

Winter break is meant to be a time for relaxing, traveling, seeing family and friends, and de-stressing. Having first-semester finals after winter break clashes with these instances. Students may choose to spend time studying for the finals during the winter break instead of relaxing and preparing for the new semester. Students should feel refreshed coming into the new year instead of the burden of finals and the ending semester in their hands.

It can be argued that students will not choose to study over break and instead leave the break for relaxing even though finals come up right after the break. This is a valid argument because students may be distracted and will choose to focus on their families instead of studying. If that is the case there comes the issue of only having a week to study for eight finals. Only one week of studying is not enough to review the material unless an individual had 6 hours in their day to use for studying, but that is not possible because students are in school all day.

The ongoing factor of the Corona Virus affects this schedule as well. Moreover, ever since the virus emerged, individuals are likely to catch the sickness from family members they’ve visited. This causes them to come back to school, spread the sickness, and then be gone for two weeks and be behind in school. If students are visiting family members over the break and then catch Corona and have to be gone for the first two weeks of being back, they miss ALL their finals. That is a horrible start to the new semester. The individual has to plan what days they need to come in and make up that final and it is a huge hassle. There is the argument that students can catch Corona at any time and miss tests. But this is refuted by the fact that the number of students missing finals increases as a result of winter break, in comparison to a normal day that has a smaller percentage of catching Corona.

The issue with altering the finals schedule is it will cause the school to start earlier than usual. That is because there needs to be the same amount of instruction for each semester. Furthermore, if finals week is replaced before winter break there will not be one less week of instruction for semester 1, causing us to start August 1st. This can be solved by having finals week still known as the week of instruction. This means students are still learning but finals are due at the same time.

Preuss should consider changing the schedule for the next upcoming school year. This change in schedule will benefit students in being able to relax during the break and be mentally prepared for the new year when break ends.