December Updates & Exam Study Tips

Counselor's Corner

Almost there!

December has come quickly! These next few weeks will fly by as well. Make sure to make up any missing assignments and finish up strong these next few weeks. Your semester grades will be posted to your transcripts in January and will affect your GPA! Don't lose sight now!

Upcoming December Events:

  • Wednesday, December 4th-Juniors take the Mock ACT
  • Friday, December 6th-FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) help sessions for seniors. Link to sign up: .
  • Monday, December 16th-Last regular school day before exams

The exam schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, December 17- 3rd period exam during the actual allotted time for 3rd period.
  • Wednesday, December 18th- 1st and 2nd period exams. Students will be given the option of checking out after this exam.
  • Thursday, December 19th- 4th and 5th period exams. We will take these exams during the time allotted for 1st & 2nd period. Student will be given the option of checking out after the exam.
  • Friday, December 20th- Make-Up exams

Avoiding Exam Exhaustion

While it is normal and healthy to experience some stress during exams, sometimes we get so stressed that it affects our performance and mental health in a negative way. Stress can show up in different ways: physical feelings of sickness, constant worries running in your head, or feeling afraid to even face reality. So how do we push through exams and the anxiety and exhaustion it brings? Here are a few tips the counselors suggest!

But where do I start?

1. Start where you are. We can't change the past, but we can change the present moment and moving forward. Prepare today. Start to organize your classwork and notes now. It can help you from getting overwhelmed in the future. Get your study guides together and make sure they are complete. Collect any missing items from classmates or teachers. Use your resources like , Khan Academy (math website), Delta math (website) and any other sites your teachers have suggested! Some students like to make flashcards, rewrite notes, or review and quiz themselves with past material. Choose a study habit that best works for you!

2. Plan in advance when you are going to study. The holidays can bring about a lot of activities and chaos. Map out your own calendar and hours that studying works for you. That may be right after school from 3-5 twice a week, or for some of you night owls from 11PM-1AM. Every student is different, and you know when and where you concentrate best. It may be at the library, starbucks, outside, or in your kitchen. Don't overwhelm yourselves with 6 hour study sessions...and if you do....plan short breaks so you don't overload & overwhelm your mind.

3. Deal with the stress. It's totally normal to feel stressed. It is how we respond to that stress that matters. Do you push it away and pretend it's not there? Or do you recognize that stress and respond to it in a healthy way? We all have our ways to handle stress, so keep a few ideas in mind of how to respond to that stress. Here are a few coping examples:

  • Music: Music can help calm your mood and your mind. Some students are able to listen to music and concentrate, others are not. Try acoustic, indie rock, or even classical. They may not be your first choice of music but it's important that you don't use it as a distraction unless on a study break.
  • Physical exercise: Walking even for ten minutes (especially outside) can help clear your mind and other symptoms of anxiety. There are so many ways to exercise-dance, run, walk, boxing, biking, yoga. You can even follow an instructor on YouTube. It is scientifically proven to help your mental health, not just physical. Give it a try!
  • Relaxation Techniques: These can help you while your studying and on test day. 1. Breathing techniques (5,5,8) can help calm your heart rate down: breathe in slowly for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 full seconds, and exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat 3 times. 2. Desk technique: put both hands under your seat in your desk. Pull up as hard as you can for 10 seconds, slowly release your hands and feel your heartrate decline back to normal. Repeat 2 times. 3. Mental Imagery: If you start to feel anxious, close your eyes, imagine a relaxing place-on the water, your backyard, a beach in Italy you've never been to. Use your 5 senses-what do you hear, see, smell, feel, and taste. With a good imagination, this can reorient your mind to a calm state. Find one that works for you!

4. Daily Health Habits: The way we treat our body will affect the way we perform. Eating sugar and drinking a lot of caffeine may make us feel energized for a little bit, but the crash will come sooner than we'd like. Stay hydrated with water, and normal amounts of caffeine. Eat vegetables, protein and full meals to keep your energy levels high. Sleep at least 6 hours a night. Again, you know yourself and what you can handle, but less than 6 hours will likely not leave you at 100% the next day.

5. Positive Self-Talk: The way we talk to ourselves can change our stress levels and performance. Are you constantly telling yourself you won't be able to handle the stress you see in the future? That you can't make a "B" on the final? That your too late to even try? The voice in your head is something you can control! It takes practice, but listen to what your mind is telling you-if it is not true, then correct that thought with logic and positivity.

For example:

  • Negative self-talk: I've done bad on every test in this class so far. May as well prepare to make another D on the exam-it's not even worth studying.
  • Corrected, positive self-talk: I know that I am better than the test grades this semester have shown me. I will choose to prepare as best as I can from here. The past test grades do not predict my future. I will do the best I can do and to take it and prepare day by day, moment by moment.

Take it day by day, and hour by hour. Do not let the concepts of exams overwhelm you. Do the best you can do, and that is all we ask for! Good luck!

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Course Selection Coming Soon

It's already time to be thinking about Fall 2020! The counselors will begin meeting with students individually to begin thinking about classes to take for next school year. Be thinking about your interests, talking with teachers, counselors and friends to get some ideas for your next academic steps!

No Course Selection for Seniors...What's next for you?

Seniors-Keep pushing through! You should be finalizing college applications, completing FAFSA, talking to military recruiters, or looking into potential job opportunities! Make sure to talk to your counselors, teachers, and employers about next steps before you graduate. We are here to help you make the right decision for YOU.