How do Lincoln students feel about finals post-online school?


Courtesy of PPS

Finals week includes an all-eight period Monday, with back-to-back finals Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Lincoln students share their thoughts on in-person finals after a whole year online.

As the end of the semester approached for Lincoln students, each class readied themselves for finals week. In a normal year, freshmen would be the only grade without past finals week experience, but with online school last year, almost every grade is experiencing finals anew. Sophomores have never been in the building during dead week [the week before finals], and the last time juniors took in-person finals was in their freshman year.  

Lula Kundell is a freshman. This was her first finals week ever. 

“I had heard that it was really hard and by the end of the week, you’re always super tired,” Kundell said.

Most of Kundell’s finals were projects or essays. The only real tests she had were in physics and math. Despite this, she took studying very seriously.

“I studied every day,” she said. “Depending on the final, I reviewed the work before I went to sleep, and when I woke up, I reviewed my notes.”

After finals, Kundell said she was prepared for the tests, but not how challenging the week would be overall.

“Finals week was rough and tiring…I’m thankful it’s over, but it was, for the most part, what I expected,” Kundell said. “I was prepared from studying but not prepared for the mental strain it would have on me.”

Drew Brasket is a sophomore. This was his first finals week in person. Last year, all of his finals were online.

“They weren’t really finals, because they were all online, so they were really easy as opposed to actual finals,” Brasket said. “You didn’t really have to study. It was more like a quiz.”

Brasket had finals in almost all of his classes, and because he had never had a “true” final, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I was so worried. I had never really had a true finals week, so it was a new thing for me,” he said. “[It was a lot of stress for a single week] because the tests were so important for my grades.”

Because of this, Brasket took extra caution in studying to make sure he was completely prepared.

“[To study], I talked to other people in my classes, I went online and did extra research, and I made sure I was caught up in all of my classes,” he said. “I pretty much went over everything.”

Brasket said finals were stressful, but he was relieved when they were over.

“It was probably the most stressful week of my life,” he said. “After I got them done it was very relieving. I just had to put in the work and know it would be better afterwards.”

Josie Grimmer is a junior. Her last in-person finals week was the first semester of freshman year.

“I specifically remember this one [freshmen] final in history class. There was already talk of COVID coming around,” Grimmer said. “I remember thinking about how stressed I would be in the future, like in junior year, when all your classes have finals.”

Grimmer expected finals this year to be very different from her finals freshman year, especially with the addition of several International Baccalaureate (IB) classes.

“The way [teachers] told us to prepare for [finals] was a lot different,” she said. “I remember getting a study guide in freshman year, and now they just say that everything is fair game.”

After finals, Grimmer said she wasn’t prepared for how hard some of the tests would be, but the challenge offered her a learning opportunity for what to expect in future finals. 

“For the finals that I was feeling the best about beforehand, I ended up being the least prepared for,” Grimmer said. “I definitely think I could have done things a lot better, and I know exactly what I’m going to do differently this semester.”

Malcolm Cole II is a senior. This is their third in person finals week.

Cole is taking IB Math and IB English this year, which they say complicates the finals process.

“IB makes it more serious. You have to focus on testing for IB and finals,” Cole said. “It’s a lot of stress, because sometimes the tests don’t mix together.”

Cole had some advice for the freshmen who are experiencing finals for the first time.

“Just study and prepare,” Cole said. “I know freshmen are probably thinking, ‘Oh, I can wait and put this off, it’s not going to matter,’ but a lot of the grades start heavy hitting early. If you’ve built the foundation on studying for finals, you’ll be able to carry it through for sophomore, junior and senior year.”

After finals, Cole said they were different from online, but they were prepared.

“[Finals] were different this year. Online wasn’t as hard,” Cole said. “But this year, I actually felt over-prepared. I definitely studied more than I should have.”