Many associate the month of December with happiness and warm, holiday spirit. I do as well, but there is something else that comes along with this month that I dread - and I know other college students feel the same way. Can you guess what it is? That's right... final exams.

Students put a lot of pressure on themselves during this time of year, which is understandable because it usually takes up a decent portion of your grade. This is a scary idea, which causes a lot of panic for some people. Exams are not my strength in school, which can bring me down at times. I know other people are in the same boat, which makes finals even more dreadful for us.

On the bright side, we have our whole life and career ahead of us! Yeah, it sucks to get a bad grade, but you have to take a step back. Look at the situation from farther away. Will this determine my future? If I don't get an A in this class, will I not be good at my occupation? Usually not... it definitely feels that way though.

The more you let this exam discourage you, the more difficult things will be to manage. I still get very discouraged when I do poorly on an exam, there have been lots and lots of tears (thanks mom for answering my FaceTime calls mid-meltdown), and my self-esteem plummets. I know that this is not an uncommon concept, but there are other things to keep in mind.

Just because you are bad at one thing, even if it appears to be the biggest part of class, it doesn't mean you can't thrive in another area. As unfair and difficult some professors may be, they aren't dumb. They can tell whether or not a student is trying.

I am someone who has always had to put extra effort into my academics, and sometimes I have to do more work than others because not every topic or concept is super easy for me. I applaud those who can simply go to class, barely review material, and ace every exam, but I am not that person.

Although, after years of school and much trial and error, I understand that communication is HUGE. Teachers don't sympathize much with students who are doing poorly but do not try. No matter how much you are struggling, if you communicate with professors, go see them during office hours, and go to review sessions you still can thrive. In order to do so though you need to show your professors how much effort you are putting into class, and really dedicate your time.

So as this intense few weeks approach, try to calm yourself down. Go into your exams with a positive mindset, and remind yourself that this test won't determine your career. You're not going to be thinking about those exams once you are working at job in the future. Get through it, do your best, and move forward!