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Delaney Gibbs, Chief of Staff

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Dear Indians,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Delaney Gibbs, varsity girls’ volleyball player, Chief of Staff of The Smoke Signal and Hart High senior. Knowing that this is my senior year means that the week of December 11 is my seventh week of high school finals. I have been through many tests and many stress filled weeks of studying. I have gotten through all of it at a fairly successful rate. Here is how I have studied over the past three years, what I think works and how I have gotten through those stressful weeks.

Step one: The actual process of studying. Please do yourself the favor of actually studying. It is important to take every final seriously. I know that all of us have classes that are easier than others, and classes that we feel we understand everything we need to for the exam, but you can never be too prepared. It is important to look through notes, to make flash cards, to sit down and focus. During my final study sessions I get my favorite snacks, a drink I enjoy, put on some music and hide my phone. This ensures that I will focus the entire time I am studying. This helps me relax and feel comfortable so that I can process everything in front of me. Study groups are helpful if you study with the right people. The people in the group need to be as determined as you are to do well on the exam. If there is someone who is not as focussed as the rest of the group that person may distract everyone from going over and relearning the things they need to know. Studying is important. Productivity is important. Take advantage of your resources, sit down and think. The outcome of success will be worth every minute.

Step two: Taking the exam. It is important to walk into the classroom you are testing in with a confident and determined mindset. Go into the room with the thought that you know absolutely everything that could possibly be on that test. When the test is placed in front of you, take a deep breath and work. Think carefully about everything you studied and everything you learned to choose the best answer. Do not be afraid to skip a few questions and go back to them, it helps to go through the rest of the test to possibly get a reminder of that question. Go back at the end, think carefully and make the best guess you can. Make sure you stay calm through the whole thing; if you do not know a few answers do not beat yourself up. Think positively, keep the nerves under control and make sure you think clearly. Wear comfortable clothes throughout finals week, the tests we all have to take a very long, and sitting still in your desk for the long period of time can be very annoying and frustrating. Stay comfortable, stay positive and stay focused. You will be just fine.

For me, finals week is simply a process on repeat. I have learned what works and what does not. Do not wing it; that will not work. Stay focused, stay determined, push through. I know that to some of you I am a complete stranger, or maybe just a girl you see on your way to class, but I have done all of this all before so please, do your best to trust me.


Delaney Gibbs

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