Dealing with end of year stress


Andrew Banocy

When the school year looks like it’s been starting to wind down, and it appears as though students are in the clear, the realization of exams and finals hits, and often a strong amount of stress with it. For a lot of students, this end of year stress can be too much to bear, and many will often burn out in the final stretch of months, neglecting their schoolwork and feeling as though there is nothing they can do to get back on track. 


However, not all is lost. There are mechanisms that can be utilized to cope with this inevitable stress that appears to take our lives over as the summer draws near. It’s just a matter of finding the right ones. Whether that be finding a new sport to play, going out with friends during free time, or even just some simple meditation and relaxation, it’s important to find a way to come to terms with end of year anxiety.


Hayfield’s associate principal Matthew Mough knows incredibly well how these stressors can affect students as he has experienced it firsthand, and not just as a part of the governing body of the school.


“I was an AP and World History teacher,” Mough said. “So I understand what that feels like as a teacher too, knowing the pressures of ‘I really want my students to do well’.”


Furthermore, Mough explained how he believes that the final months are often the most challenging bit of the entire school year.


“I would argue that that stretch post-spring break through final exams is the hardest part of the year… because of a variety of reasons such as end of year stress… and significant transitions for eighth graders and seniors.”


And when it comes to dealing with that seven week period of uninterrupted learning, the Hayfield admin determines that there is a simple solution:


“My advice is really just take care of yourself,” Mough said. “Try to keep perspective, which is very difficult to do in a moment of stress. Find out what deserves your stress, trim out the minor things, and only worry about what’s important to make it feel a lot more manageable.”


Some students, such as Mark Hoffman (11) and Robert Michael (10) have already begun adapting to their respective versions of this “gauntlet” era of the year.


“I’ve started saving more time to do my work,” Hoffman said. “Work has definitely gotten better for me, and my teachers are giving less.”


On the other side of things, Michael has had a relatively different experience throughout the days.


“Personally, I’ve recently gotten more work and harder lessons,” Michael said. “A lot of my teachers have felt the need to ramp up near the end.” But for Michael, a unique strategy has emerged from that work. “In order to adapt to that stretch I’m making sure to enjoy my weekends more,” the sophomore said.


So remember, although sometimes it may seem there is no escape from the school world and the stress and anxiety of the work that comes with it, just close your eyes, take a deep breath, remind yourself that you can do this, and be sure to find ways to enjoy yourself in the process!