Holiday Cheer? More like Holiday Fear!


Shira Preis

Testing Time Tension: Sophomores Kacey Walker and Charlotte Brown stress over their fast approaching finals.

Around the holiday times, constant messages of love and happiness are spread throughout the world. However, for students at NAHS, it is hard to pay attention to these messages when they are being overloaded by teachers with messages about studying and digging in before the break. This oftentimes causes students excessive stress levels during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. While the promise of a two-week break and treats from teachers looms as a mode of continuing motivation, the number of tests and amount of studying that must be done is extremely overpowering for already burnt-out students. 

The stress that builds up throughout the year is also a factor in making the holiday season so miserable. Students feel like they spend the whole year suffering to make good grades all for their grade to ultimately rely on the final they take right as they feel the most tired from school. This ultimately distracts students from enjoying the holidays because they have to be so focused on keeping their grades up instead of thinking about taking appropriate breaks to keep this level of burnout from occurring. The day that finals are over students feel an immense amount of relief, however, this relief is not worth the ultimate stress. “I would rather run on the track for 5 miles than deal with the stress around finals,” sophomore Charlotte Brown said.

It is understandable that right before a break teachers would want to finalize grades with a big test. However, many Dubs feel that there are better solutions than having everything rely on one test before the break. Students have expressed their shared interest in having a final project instead of a test. This would allow students to prove what they know without the stress of a test. In addition, many Dubs have shared their appreciation of teachers who still give a final, but also give time before the final to study and do makeup work in class. This at least acknowledges how overwhelmed students are by the intense workload from all of their classes. “I just wish teachers could be a little more understanding around the holidays because we want to be with our friends and family too,” sophomore Ella Sipe said. “Even a project would be better than a test.”

The holiday time should be spent bonding with family and friends. However, many students at North Atlanta feel themselves isolating during the cold season to get all of their studying done before final tests. The stress that accumulates makes it very hard for Dubs to enjoy themselves over the break.