By Alanna Greene
Stress fills the air. The library is packed with eyes pouring over notes from the past five months. Teachers remind students to study as the semester comes to a close. These are the unrelenting signs of perhaps one of the most anxiety ridden weeks of a student’s life: Finals.
Finals, in a more positive light, are a rite of passage. They are something every student endures, as they finalize a semester and celebrate a new one. All students take them at the same time, so the feelings of stress and pain due to these mandatory tests are not uncommon. In some ways, it bonds the student body.
But however you look at it, finals are definitely not considered to be fun. Especially for the freshmen, who enter high school with only the horror stories of cramming and flunking as something to guide them as testing looms closer and closer.
However, this year was different. With the help of leadership teacher Allen Nakamura, dean Eric Shawn and Link Crew members, after-school tutoring sessions were held for freshmen the week before finals. This plan was implemented to help guide the ninth graders as they tackled the end of the semester for the first time.
“I wanted to make sure that ninth graders had a successful first finals week. I think if they get off to a good start, it’ll help them be successful students for the next four years,” Nakamura said in regards to the tutoring program.
While this new program successfully drew about 50 freshmen, Nakamura sees higher potential for it. “I think it could be better. We just need to advertise it better, get more kids and spread the word that we’re having it.”
Freshmen initially heard about Link Crew tutoring through school-wide announcements and posters in the hallways weeks prior to finals.
Link Crew consists of juniors and seniors who have an interest in aiding students throughout their freshman year. This, along with the tutoring, is a new addition to AHS this year, and both programs are proving to be helpful. According to Nakamura, “I think freshmen liked it. When I walked in it was pretty quiet and everyone was very studious. No one was goofing off and our Link leaders were very mature.”
Link Crew member and junior Alexis Jacobsen remembers her stress as she approached finals two years ago, and wishes this program had been around earlier. “It would have been a huge help for someone more experienced to tell me about what to expect during finals week. I probably would have been a lot less stressed out.”
Luckily, future AHS students won’t have to worry about that. When asked if finals tutoring will be continued next year, Nakamura said, “Yes. We’re going to do the Link Crew program again and the tutoring again. It’s going to be bigger and better next year.”