I remember almost exactly five years ago feeling the stress-induced nausea overwhelming me as I began my first-ever official round of finals. I was an awkward, insecure freshman in high school, and I felt as if my world would spontaneously implode if I didn't, by some miracle, ace all my finals and secure an above-average GPA. In my mind, finals week was the season of amendment for all past procrastination, a time to cram and comb over all the forgotten facts and formulas of the semester. As the years went on, the panic I felt at the onset of finals season shifted from motivational to exhausting.
When I started college, I challenged myself to reframe the way I looked at finals and exams in general. I began to reassess my academic priorities. I came up with the following reasons why, while you should still strive to do your best in school, you do not need to give a f*ck about finals.
Your mental health should always be among your top priorities.Giphy
Oftentimes people forget how important it is to keep their mental health in mind constantly. While stress is a part of life, there are levels of healthy stress that many people push the boundaries of during finals season.
Studying should be focused on refreshing your memory, not on learning things for the first time.Giphy
If your "studying" for finals entails completely learning concepts from scratch, you aren't actually gaining anything. You are only grueling over topics that you will likely forget shortly after the exam.
There is no point in getting a good grade if you aren’t actually thoroughly learning the material and storing it in your long-term memory for future use.Giphy
Especially in regards to college, the point of taking classes is learning things that you can eventually use in your professional life. Cramming for an exam may help you secure a better grade, but is it really worth all the stress if you aren't truly retaining the material?
Our education system's grading structure is organized to reward memorization over actual education.Giphy
People often use their grade as a gauge of their success in a certain class, but grades don't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Even if you don't get all As, your success should be measured by how you have grown and learned as a student and a person through your classes.
No one is going to ask you your GPA after you get your first job (excluding grad school).Giphy
Experience and knowledge are the things that are actually going to propel you in your career. Getting an internship and gaining experiential knowledge in your field are far more useful to you and your future employer than a 4.0 GPA.
Your self-worth should not be determined by your grades.Giphy
You are so much more than a number on a piece of paper. Your other assets, such as your extracurricular activities and positive personality traits, are better indicators of your personal success and those assets are what you will bring to the table in your professional life.
5 years from now, you won’t even remember what you got on your finals.Giphy
While you should always put your best effort into your school work, it is also good to find some perspective amidst your studying. Don't sacrifice your sanity for something that won't matter a couple of years down the road.