The Spirit Of Finals


Students and staff pose for the camera, showcasing their school spirit.

With semi-new changes to the finals schedule, students struggle to keep up when returning from winter break. After enjoying family time and celebrating the new year, students return to school and are only allowed one review week before finals. That one week is filled with sleepless nights, countless cups of coffee, and quizlets. The aftermath is followed by rushed lessons, hoping to finish the curriculum in time for AP tests and EOC’s. 

While you can’t cure the impending doom of finals, there are ways to lessen the stress. My idea? To introduce spirit days to finals week. It might not sound like the most amazing idea but even minor themes like pajama day or blanket day would provide something fun that’s also easy. Although homecoming and prom spirit weeks are fun, they can get repetitive and outfits can take a long time to put together. Themes that used to be a big deal in elementary school may bring some of that magic back and ease the anxiety of finals. 

Mrs. Dennigmann and Ms. Fay participate in Decades Day. (Given By StudCo)

After doing an Instagram poll for the student body, the feedback was great. 86 percent of people answered yes to a finals spirit week while 14 percent said no. We also asked what theme days people would like to see and there were around 75 responses. Unsurprisingly, Adam Sandler Day, Class color Day, Twin Day, and PJ Day were common suggestions.

I also wanted to get a specialist’s point of view, so I enlisted the help of Kalinda Dixon, FHC’s behavior support specialist. After joining the staff TWO years ago, she has some insight into how students are feeling, especially when it comes to taking finals.

“We just went through this pandemic and it took a toll on our mental health,” Dixon said.

Last year she saw an increase in kids coming in due to the stress of finals. Most kids needed help on how to study because there was this two-year gap of finals. Now, with things being semi-normal, that apprehension is still there. When asked if she thought a spirit week would help relieve some of that stress, she gave a resounding yes. 

“They did that last year for staff and it lightened the mood. It takes your mind and helps you shift,” Dixon said.

That mind shift may just be exactly what students need; a small yet effective way to help students and teachers alike feel less stressed and build a sense of community. With all of this in mind, I plan to bring some of this to Student Council leaders, hoping to start the change this year. As a senior, I want to leave the school better than I found it, and de-stressors like spirit days may just be the way I do that.