Opinion: STEM Isn’t the Only Pathway to Success

Welcome back everyone!

As a sophomore in high school, I’m at the stage of my life where I’m starting to plan for college, and adults are often asking me about what I want to do in life, where I want to go to school, and what I want to study there. Additionally, it’s the stage of my life where adults asking these questions always tell me I should be gearing towards going into a STEM field, since they want more women in the field, it’s a more secure job outlook, and the pay is usually higher. I am personally not a STEM kind of girl- I do well in my math and science classes at school and enjoy them when I have a good/fun teacher, but I don’t love the subjects themselves and couldn’t really see myself studying them further, especially at the high and intense level you would in college. If you’ve felt similarly, but are constantly being told STEM is the way to go in life, keep on reading to hear my thoughts.

I’m not going to be including statistics or “evidence” to support my points because I don’t really have a hard claim- I just want to offer my two cents. First of all, don’t feel pressured into doing what other people tell you is best. They may have your best interests at heart, but they probably don’t know you as well as you know yourself, and you’ll know whether a certain path is right for you or not. It’s more important to do something you’re passionate about- you’ll most likely perform better in your college classes, be more driven in the field, and therefore get a higher-level position and make more money. If this is in the STEM field, great! If not, it doesn’t mean you can’t make just as much or more money/be as successful or even more successful (note that I’m not saying money = success, I’m just using these as two separate examples).

Another thing I’ve noticed from articles I’ve read or portrayals of STEM workplaces in the media is that women are often treated very unfairly at these companies. It is still a relatively male-dominated field and men at these tech-startups tend to feel superior to their women co-workers when they should be treating each other as equals. A lot of big STEM companies that come with the big salaries people are attracted to are also super stressful environments where there’s often a lot of competition- this environment isn’t for everyone. Yes, STEM is a very broad generalization of fields/topics of study/etc. and there are many industries and workplaces besides tech startups or companies that are under the STEM umbrella, but I feel like tech is the one that’s buzzing the most since technology is constantly updating and is proving to be one of the biggest parts of our future.

There are still plenty of jobs outside of the STEM umbrella, and there will be something related to your interest. Definitely be cautious about job prospects (ex. being an artist may not be the most steady job), but don’t force yourself into a field for the salary or the prestige- it probably won’t get you very far. I still don’t really know what I want to do, but I know that it most likely won’t be in a STEM field. Another thing that one of my older friends told me which I think could be a good idea if you’re nervous about job prospects and kind of on the fence about STEM is major in whatever you’re actually passionate about (i.e. something not in STEM in this case) and minor in something quantitative like programming, statistics, etc. I know this wouldn’t work for everyone, but it’s something to think about if you’re choosing a major and debating.

Think of this: there’s always going to be people at the top of a field. No matter what field it is, there’s a way to work yourself up and eventually have a higher-level position and make more money. If you love your job, you’ll be better at it- you’ll move up those ranks higher and end up making just as much money, if not more, than you would’ve made at a “more prestigious” entry-level job. Also, money and prestige aren’t everything! If you’re happy with your job and you’re able to pay for everything you physically need to live, who’s to say you need to go chasing prestige? It all depends on what your priorities are and how you want to live your life.

Lastly, remember that it’s okay to not even know what pathway you want to be on. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so of course I don’t know what I want to be- I know, I’m a little unqualified to be giving advice. However, I know that I’ve had countless amounts of adults lecture me on this topic and my mom has always reassured me that it’s more important to do what I love, so I figured I would spread that positive outlook. Let me know what you think!

Brooke

A Love Letter to My Elementary School & Teachers

Welcome back everyone!

It was about time that I made my last “love letter to my ___ teachers” (for now). In case you’re new to my blog, I’ve also written posts similar to this one towards my middle school and current high school teachers, so I recommend checking those out if you haven’t already. My blog has a lot of content relating to my schooling experiences and my love for learning (I mean, the title is “My High School Adventures”), so it’s natural for me to pay tribute to the people who have gotten me this far. In elementary school, high schoolers seemed so old, yet here I am, still shocked how fast time has gone.

For a little background, I switched schools going into fifth grade; I had been commuting to a highly-ranked school about 30 minutes away, when I lived near a perfectly good school. I had a rough fourth-grade year with my teacher leaving halfway through the school year, and it was time for a change. It put me on a completely path, and I would not have gone to the wonderful middle school or high school that I’m at now if I hadn’t made that change.

If I could address all of my wonderful elementary school teachers in one letter, I would say this:

Thank you so much for introducing me to new things and pushing me to be better, even as a young child. A special thank you to those who allowed me to pursue the things I loved, by moving me up in reading level and letting me read “the big kid books.” Even though I was EXTREMELY shy and quiet, I definitely appreciated everything you did for me. I honestly wasn’t that good of a kid- I wasn’t a troublemaker because I was so intimidated by you guys, but I know I didn’t have the best habits. Thank you so much for reprimanding me and correcting my ways. It seemed harsh at the time, but it helped me so much in the long run and I understand why you did what you did.

Honestly, I don’t know how you do it. Dealing with twenty to forty needy, crazy little kids everyday and trying to teach them multiple things while doing it is more challenging than I can imagine. I look back on the version of myself you had to deal with and cringe. Thank you for taking on such an important role in molding kids during a formative time in their lives, and doing your best to make it fun. We may not have realized how fun it actually was until moving on to the harder parts of our schooling, but I appreciate it so much now.

Thank you for encouraging us to make new friends. I miss that feeling of actually getting to know each person in your class and having a little family by the end of the year- sure, it’s not always the happiest family, but that sense of community taught me a lot about what friends I wanted to seek in middle school and high school. Thank you for giving me the building blocks and life lessons that I’m still building off of today. I’ve only realized it recently, but a lot of the things I’ve learned I actually started learning from you. Thank you for being kind, encouraging, and overall welcoming spirits that made me more comfortable with getting close to my teachers as the years went on.

Thank you for being people that would check up on me and notice when I needed a motivation boost. Thank you for teaching me how to write!! As silly as it sounds, I actually do think the writing I did in elementary school set me up on the path to do well in writing in middle school, which put me on the path to do well in writing now. Thank you for being you, and well, thank you for teaching me. I know a lot of time has gone by already- you’ve had many, many more classes with new faces and mine has probably disappeared from your memory, but I will remember the years I spent in each of your classes.

Remember to thank your teachers and tell them how much you appreciate them. I hope you have been lucky enough to have at least some teachers you love or have enjoyed learning from- those are the ones that deserve a world of praise 🙂

Brooke

Mundane Symphony of the Healing – Poem by Me

Welcome back everyone!

The first poem I’d posted on this blog (a week ago or two, I believe), “Jumble” actually seemed to be pretty successful. I would love for you to check it out if you haven’t already- it’s gotten the most views out of any of my blog posts. I love to write if you didn’t know already, so I figured it was worth it to put myself out there again and share another poem. I would love to hear your thoughts and read other aspiring writers’ work, so please leave a comment or message me if you’d be interested in sharing! Here’s “Mundane Symphony of the Healing”.

Music lingering in my brain Nothing clear yet it stays all the same Notes and words all a jumble A tune mixed with lyrics I begin to mumble Replaying on a constant loop Until my eyelids start to droop

My own personal choir between my ears However, it seems to target my fears Chanting through day and night The music never leaves my sight I would do anything to make it stop How can I get a new beat to drop?

A new harmony and a little of this Makes for a delightful song I can’t miss Facing the music brings it to an end A new instrument, a new friend Stronger than I previously thought Look what this victory has brought

Although I don’t hear the music today It may never fully go away Music can be a beautiful thing But it can also haunt and cling Create your own song today Trust me, it will be okay

I hope you enjoyed! Please, please, please let me know what you guys think 🙂

Brooke

Reusable Notebook Review – Rocketbook

Hello everyone!

Today I’m going to go more into-depth on my experience with a product that I received as a Christmas gift and had been wanting for a while: the Rocketbook reusable notebook. I found out about this product from a Buzzfeed video and I knew I wanted to try it because of it’s eco-friendliness and convenience. I’m a big planner and I like to write out basically my whole life on paper, so it would be a way to continue doing this without as much waste, but still getting the feeling of actually writing and not having to go fully digital. If you’re interested in getting this product or something similar, keep on reading!

In case you’re confused on what the Rocketbook is, it’s a notebook where the ink can be erased from the pages. In order to preserve whatever writing you have, there’s a QR code on each page that you scan using the Rocketbook app, and the contents of the page will be sent to your online destination of choice as a PDF or JPEG file. Once you’ve digitally saved the file, you wet the microfiber cloth that comes with the notebook and use it to erase the special pen ink from the pages- and repeat!

For specifics, I received the Letter size Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook in Deep Space Gray, purchased off of Amazon for $34.00 (I picked it out so I know the details ;)). When you receive the notebook, it also comes with a little instruction manual, an erasable Pilot Frixon pen in black, and a towel that erases the pen ink from the pages when dampened. The notebook is thirty pages. The instruction manual tells you to download the Rocketbook app from the App Store, and things get exciting from there.

The app comes with how-to videos in case you get confused on anything, but it will start with having you make an account and link it to an email and/or some sort of cloud. I linked mine to my main email account (a Gmail account) and the Google Drive that goes with it. There are 7 categories that you can connect to different destinations so you can organize where your files are going if you’re using one notebook for different subjects/purposes. Your scans will also be preserved in the app to look back on in case you lose track of them in whatever online file storage you sent them to.

I’ve really enjoyed using it so far- I don’t waste paper on simple to-do lists, and I can keep a lot of thoughts in one place. I don’t love the dot-grid since I tend to write crooked without structured lines, but it’s not a deal-breaker since I only use it for planning and creative writing. It would be bother me more if I used it for school and note-taking though. It definitely feels different than writing with a normal pen and normal paper, but it’s not different enough to be weird. I don’t think there’s much more to say about using it, but I’ll include some pictures to give you more of an idea!

Here’s the overview of a page- the inside cover has the seven categories’ images.
A close-up to give you an idea of how the pen writes!
The scan history screen in all its glory.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know if you end up getting a Rocketbook or similar product and how your experience goes 🙂

Brooke

Laws I Believe Should Be Made

Hello everyone!

This has been a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but I’d been debating on whether or not it was a good idea. Inspired by my recent Youth and Government conference, I figured I should just go for it and see if anyone’s interested. Today I’ll be sharing a few bill ideas/things I think would be good laws. Some of these I thought of, and some were debated in Youth and Government/brought up by other people. That being said, they are not exactly original and I’m sure you could easily find people advocating for most of these with a Google search- I’m mainly going off of my Youth and Government experience and personal beliefs.

  • Preschool should be free – Preschool is a crucial step in education that right now the lower classes often can’t afford. When I was going into preschool, my grandma had to help my parents pay for it since they had just bought a house and were dealing with the budget adjustment. Education should not be for sale, especially not at such a young and fundamental age for developing knowledge.
  • Cap the amount/percentage college tuition at public institutions can be increased – Even though state school tuition is much cheaper than private institutions on paper, there’s not always much financial aid given (a lot of private schools meet more demonstrated need for aid) and it’s still extremely pricey. Prices rise each year- college was soooo much cheaper when our parents went, but the quality of instruction is the same. There should be a limit on how much prices can increase, so that they can only rise to account for inflation.
  • Increased vacation time – We need to be on board with European countries and other developed countries with this. Americans work so much and often only get two to three weeks vacation a year, if that. There should be a month or more paid leave in most, if not all jobs.
  • Stoppage of funding for public institutions named after questionable/racist/etc. people – This was an interesting one brought up at Youth and Government. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it would definitely be complicated and controversial to enforce. I assume most of these institutions would just rename themselves anyways, but I still think it would be an important message to send.
  • Require a certain ratio of school counselors and psychologists to students – There are not enough counselors or school psychologists for students, and this is something I’ve witnessed first-hand. I know schools are severely underfunded so it would be difficult to find room in the budget for this, but it’s worth it to promote mental wellness and provide a support system for students.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about my political beliefs and types of theoretical legislation I would support. Don’t take this too seriously, it’s just some topics I found interesting from Youth and Government. If you’re into politics and/or debating, I would love to hear your personal opinions on these issues as well.

Brooke

Sophomore Year – 1st Semester Reflection

Welcome back everyone!

First semester of this school year is officially over, meaning I am halfway done with my sophomore year. I think it’s always nice to have some self-reflection, especially documented in some way so you can look back on it again in the future. I decided I would post it on here because it may help some of you guys out or inspire you to do some self-reflection of your own. It sure has been a crazy past few months, and summer feels like it was eons ago.

I came into sophomore year trying to not have expectations, but I definitely had a few. I didn’t think it would be that much harder than freshman year (wrong-ish), I thought it would be a lot better than freshman year (true-ish), and I thought I would feel soooo much older since I wasn’t a freshman anymore (COMPLETELY wrong). Don’t worry, I’ll explain the reality of all these expectations. It hasn’t exactly been harder than freshman year, but it’s been a lot more work. I have a lot more homework, tests are more frequent, and there’s just more information being covered so it tends to move faster. Once I adapted my schedule and work habits, I was doing fine again- that being said, I’m always stressed and always have been.

I thought this year would be so much better than the last- that I would find my place within the school, spend more time with friends, get more involved and start up all these new activities, etc. In a way all these things happened and I definitely made a lot more progress with my goals than I did in freshman year due to being a bit more comfortable with myself, but I still left a lot to be desired. I’ve definitely been (and still am) overscheduled because of my ridiculous cheer schedule, so cheer prevented me from having free time to get everything done as well as doing other activities during a lot of this semester. Once cheer season is over (mid-February), I’ll have a lot more free time and I can re-evaluate my commitments from there.

Lastly, I definitely don’t feel older than I did last year. I think part of it is because I’m young for my grade so a lot of my friends are currently getting their licenses while I’m just starting driver’s ed right now to get my permit, so I have a lot less freedom than most people in my grade. The freshmen this year seem just as old (or older than) as me- probably because a lot of them are. I can’t believe I’m going to be driving soon, but I also can since a lot of my friends already have their licenses and cars and jobs that they drive themselves too; it’s weird how different their lifestyle at the moment is from mine.

Going back to my academic performance, I’m very proud of how I did this semester. I was able to end with straight As in my classes again, and I definitely put in the work to get them. I didn’t accomplish as much in the extracurricular department this semester, but I have been spreading myself a little thin mainly because of cheer, and I’ve gotten off to a good start of trying new things with Youth and Government. I hope to branch out and get involved in more things this semester, but it will probably end up happening next year since most things can’t really be joined mid-year (depends on the opportunity).

I improved my writing a lot this semester, which is another thing I’m really proud of. I think it’s just because of getting in more practice and constantly brainstorming- I’ve found my creative juices have really been flowing lately. That’s why it’s been frustrating to barely have any free time; I have so many ideas and I want to execute them as soon as possible. I’ve written a lot of poetry and read a lot more poetry. I hadn’t read that much poetry before, and I’m so happy I decided to try and read some of the classics/well-known poets’ work.

This blog has grown a lot this semester. I know it’s still relatively small, but I found that I’ve gotten a lot more likes and views from new viewers lately, so my posts are slowly trickling out to more people. I appreciate all of you so much for sticking with me through my adventures and my inability to pick one topic to blog about. As always, I’m open to suggestions since I love to cover different points of discussion, so please let me know if there’s something you would like to see me post about on here.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about my personal growth and relationships with people. I’ve made an effort to be friendlier and kinder to people who I cross paths with, and I think it’s paid off a lot. I’ve made lots of new friends in classes and Youth and Government among other things in my life. As far as myself, I struggled with my self-esteem since I didn’t have as much self-care time for myself and I was constantly over-scheduled and overwhelmed, but I think towards the end of the semester I was balancing things a lot better. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m working on balancing school with my social life more evenly now.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about how the past few months have been going for me in all the main aspects of life. I would love to hear about how your semester has been- we’re all in this together. Here’s to a new semester and a fresh start!

Brooke

Snapshots: Youth and Government Conference

Hello everyone!

This past weekend I was at my second Training and Elections Youth and Government conference in Fresno, CA. It was a very fun but sleep-deprived time, and the weekend honestly flew by. I didn’t have time to write about each day of the conference during the day, but I wanted to share a little bit about the experience. I’ll be including a few pictures and anecdotes from the weekend for you to enjoy, so keep on reading!

The first thing we saw when we realized we were in Fresno. It’s actually a really interesting city.
My view from our seats at joint opening session. At each joint session, there’s a chaplain speech and usually the Youth Governor comes up at some point.
The iconic Valdez Hall where we ate all our meals. I ate about half of my meals from food trucks in the dirt lot next door, and they were actually really good.
A blurry photo of the craziness that ensued when the fire alarm got pulled during social hour Sunday night. Imagine 3600 people evacuating a convention center… luckily it was a false alarm.

I know this isn’t much to show for a whole weekend of learning and activities, but to be fair, we weren’t allowed to have our phones out during almost all sessions. If you have any questions about Youth and Government or what goes on at conferences, please let me know! I’m not the best person to ask since it’s my first year, but I can still point you in the right direction and give you some references.

Brooke

How to Find & Apply To Summer Programs

Welcome back everyone!

If you’re been reading my blog for a while, you’d know that I’ve been trying to figure out my summer plans and apply for some summer programs related to things I’m interested in. I’m mainly focused on finding a cool program for creative writing (let me know if you want a list because I’ve found sooo many from searching), but there’s tons of programs for pretty much every interest and extracurricular out there. It’s pretty overwhelming, which is why I’m still having indecisive troubles figuring out which ones to ultimately apply to. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to seek these programs out and apply, keep on reading.

  • Figure out what you would want to pursue at a program – What are you most interested at the moment? A program is only worth it if you know you’ll really enjoy it, learn from it, and get a lot out of it. If you have a main hobby (a sport, art/music, etc.) or a favorite subject, think about taking that to the next level by going to a summer program where you can spend a week or a few weeks really diving into that interest.
  • Do detailed research and compile a master list – I would start by just looking up “summer program for high schoolers” and your topic of interest. There are detailed lists on websites like College Confidential and the Applying to College thread on Reddit, if you want a wider range of topics to start out looking at. Don’t be sucked in by super expensive pre-college programs- it’s probably not worth it unless you’re genuinely interested and have the (significant amount of) money to spare. Cheaper/free programs are better in most cases, and you will come across them with more research- lesser known/smaller local programs are great too if they fit your interest!
  • Filter out programs by price, location, length, age eligibility, etc. – This is the most important step. Depending on how long you want to be gone, how much money you’re willing to spend, and what grade you’re in, it can narrow down a lot of possibilities. I would form a list of criteria before you start thinking about actually applying anywhere- it will make it a lot easier to narrow it down to only a few programs of interest.
  • Do more detailed research to see what the best fit would be – Once you’ve narrowed it down, now see what actually sounds the most fun and best for you. If there’s impressive advisers/staff/teachers/etc. or it’s in a location you’d like to visit, those are pluses! It’s kind of like a mini-college search- sift through to find what actually sounds most fun to you.
  • Work on essays/questionnaires over time – I think it’s important to start early since you don’t want to stress yourself out over an application for a program that’s supposed to be fun. The bulk of most applications besides a transcript and recommendations is probably essays or other supplements, so start these in advance.
  • Ask a teacher related to the subject or one you know best for a recommendation – Most programs will require recommendations, so make sure you’re prepared to ask for one in advance. If the program is geared towards a specific academic subject, try to ask a teacher in that subject or field. If it doesn’t really matter, I would just ask any teacher/mentor that knows you really well.
  • Hope for the best! – A summer program is definitely not a make or break of having a good summer or a productive activity. It can be a nice way to get out of your comfort zone, but there are plenty more local things you can do that are just as impressive and exciting. That being said, if you apply, I hope you get in!

I hope this gave you a little more insight on what goes into finding the right summer program for you. I’ve done a lot of research on this so if you need any pointers on where to look or what programs might go with your interest, let me know! I’d be happy to point you in the right direction if I can. Also, I am by no means an expert on this- it’s just something I’ve been interested in myself. I’m hoping to attend a writing program this summer, but I have no clue if it will end up working out. Of course, I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Brooke

Girl’s Guide to Living With Grandparents/Living in A Crowded House

Hello everyone!

Recently my grandmother moved in with my family, and it’s been chaotic to say the least. We live in a pretty small house, and it’s become even more crowded with the introduction of my grandmother and her miniature-Pinscher dog. I know a lot of other people live with their grandparents or just experience crowded family living situations, so I thought it would be helpful to offer my two cents on how to make these hectic conditions a bit smoother. I know it’s an adjustment as anything is, and I know I’m privileged to even have the living situation that I’m currently in, so don’t take this as me complaining 🙂

  • Establish boundaries, and stick to them – This is a two-way street. There will probably need to be compromises on both ends, and that’s just how it is. I would hope that all parties involved at least understand common courtesy (not having the T.V. on loud at night, not having loud phone calls on speaker phone, etc.) but depending on the people and situation you may need to clarify these things. It’s best if everyone has some sort of defined space as their own, especially when it comes to storage. In the bathroom it can be a drawer, in a bedroom it can be a side of the room or a corner- it all depends.
  • Figure out transportation – This also depends on the situation, because if everyone has their own car and can transport themselves, you don’t really have an issue. I’m not old enough to drive yet and I depend on my parents to take me everywhere, and my grandma isn’t really comfortable driving on crazy California freeways and roads- she also doesn’t have a car here at the moment. If my parents are taking my grandma to an appointment or to get her errands done, I’m stuck at home or stranded elsewhere. Luckily I’ll be able to drive soon, but right now we have to do a lot of planning in advance to make sure everyone’s getting where they need to go… which means spontaneous plans with friends are limited.
  • Have time to get away – I’m busy with a lot of extracurriculars and my schoolwork, so I don’t even spend that much time at home. I also try to be social and spend time with my friends as much as I can, so that’s even more time out of my house. This makes it a little easier to deal with the craziness at home- I’m not actually home very often, besides sleeping and eating and working. It really helps if you have lots of time in your schedule where you’ll be elsewhere, away from the chaos.
  • Find your “zen” space at home – No matter how cramped or crazy it is, there has to be some spot at home that you can go to for relaxation. It can be in your backyard, front yard, or even just somewhere else in your neighborhood if your actual house is too much for you. What matters is it’s a place of tranquility that you can easily access without having to depend on anyone else and where you won’t get disturbed. For me, I have a couple go-to places- the bathroom (I know, it’s weird), a corner of my room, and this one spot in my backyard outside if it’s warm out.
  • Know that everyone probably feels the same way and you just need to communicate – If you’re getting overwhelmed and feeling tension, chances are you’re not the only one. These situations require everyone to cooperate with each other and be comfortable speaking up when something’s bugging them or they need to make a change. I know there’s not much you can do or control as a kid in this situation, but you can still (respectfully) advocate for yourself if you feel boundaries are being overstepped or you don’t have enough privacy.

I know these types of situations can be quite trying, especially depending on your relationship with your family members. Just try to look at it as a bonding experience and a life lesson- you’ll need to learn to live with other people (with very different lifestyles) in small quarters in college or in other roommate situations when you’re older anyways. I’ve been in so many strange living situations and stayed in so many dorm rooms that I think I’m definitely ready to be living in a dorm 😉

Brooke

Finals Week Reflection – Don’t Sweat It!

Welcome back everyone!

Last week was my school’s finals week (I know, I know- we’re kind of late to the party), and now that my first semester of sophomore year is over I wanted to reflect on how the infamous stress of finals went this year, how it compared to freshman year finals, and how it was in general. I know it’s very intimidating and I definitely get stressed about big tests no matter what, but I think it’s important to realize that no matter how big a test is, it’s still just a test. If you want to hear more about my most recent finals experience is, keep on reading!

Honestly, the main point I have is pretty cliché, but it’s to not blow things out of proportion because things will pass over faster than you think. As a person who gets easily stressed and has a lot on her plate, there are many things I’m worried about doing or getting done daily. As a result of my constant business, I’ve realized that time goes by really fast, and soon enough everything’s over- whether good or bad. I was freaking out about finals as one would the week leading up to them and this past week, but they came and went so fast, and it ended up being fine.

Sure, a few tears were shed and many hours were spent poring over books, but it turned out fine. And even if it hadn’t, it still would’ve been over with and I could move on with my life. Time has been FLYING by lately, and it’s really teaching me not to get hung up on any singular event, because soon enough it will be gone and done! I don’t know if it’s a positive or negative perspective- when it comes to things I’m dreading like finals, I guess it’s positive that I realize they’ll be over with, but when it’s things I’m looking forward to, it can feel like I’m wishing them away before they’re over.

To focus more specifically on my finals, I’ll give a breakdown of how it goes at my school. We have three days of block schedule, with two classes each day (3 classes on the first day if you take a 7th period). This means you only have two finals each day, or less if you don’t take all academic classes or you don’t have finals in some classes. I personally had my English and Spanish finals on day 1, no finals on day 2 (yearbook and chemistry which we took a final in early), and AP Euro and math finals on day 3. First semester finals are always Tuesday-Thursday and we get Friday off for a long-weekend refresher before the next semester.

The way my finals were broken up this year was both stressful and nice at the same time. Having the day in between to focus on studying was helpful, but it also was a very stress-inducing day since Euro and math were the finals I was most scared for. That being said, I think the full day of study time paid off, considering those were actually the two finals I did best on. I had very structured study plans for them, whereas I just kind of went over notes, studied the textbooks, used Quizlets, and winged it a little bit for English and Spanish. Either way, I actually got solid As on all my finals and was able to end the semester with grades I am proud of, so I’m happy and super proud of myself for powering through the stress.

In comparison to freshman year finals, this semester was way more difficult. I was expecting that since my classes this year have been much more difficult so far. A lot of my teachers last year went easy on us and didn’t give us real “finals,” so we just had our unit tests or a slightly bigger chapter test that was worth a little more points. I only had three finals total, and they were spread out evenly among the three days. This year, it actually felt more like finals week and how I originally imagined it before going into finals last year.

Finals are rough for everyone, but as I’ve mentioned, it’s important to know that they’re really not the end-all-be-all- nothing in school is. I’m assuming most people’s finals are over by know, so I hope you all are happy with how you performed last semester! If you’re not, now you have a fresh start ahead of you. If you haven’t had finals yet, good luck! I believe in you 🙂

Brooke