You couldn’t be prouder of your favorite high school or college student, and it’s important that you let them know as they embark on one of the most grueling times of their educational career: Finals Week.
The truth is that anxiety about finals becomes more pervasive with each new generation. Being a student is tougher than it’s ever been and exam week is as tough as it gets.
So, Moms, Dads, and Grandparents, we’re gonna level with ya. Your kid is not being overly dramatic when they tell you how hard they’ve got it. They are telling you the truth. It really is more difficult to excel educationally these days than the last time we were students. Remote learning alone is challenging enough as it is, but the pressure to keep grades up, paired with the extensiveness of applicable knowledge that is expected of them has increased exponentially since the last time any of us were in a classroom, virtual or otherwise.
We know you love your kiddos and want to give them every opportunity to do well on their final exams, which is why we put together the best ideas for a Finals Survival Kit that we could find.
Smash Self-doubt and Sabotage with these Final Exam Gifting Tips:
First, let’s touch on where your student is mentally as they head into Final Exam week.
✏️ They want to perform well.
✏️ They want to head into their final exams with confidence.
✏️ They want to feel well rested.
✏️ They want to feel prepared.
✏️ They hunger for a grade that matches their efforts.
✏️ They can’t wait until it’s all over.
We know you would buy them a magic pill if you could.
On the other hand, as their primary champions, you know that knowledge is power, and the harshest experiences in life— like surviving Final Exam week — contribute to their strength of character for many years to come. It’s the arduous moments like these that shape them. And the best thing we can do is BE there for them, make sure they know that we believe in them, and provide them with tools of encouragement and personal empowerment.
No two students are alike
It’s always fun to get a gift basket or care package while away at college, and even better when it arrives to cheer you on, but having a personal cheerleader is not always enough. If you truly want to give your scholar an advantage, you need to consider what you are putting in your gift box for them and why it offers them an advantage to succeed.
A gift that benefits one might distract or hinder another
It’s important that when creating a Final Exam Gift basket, that you make a concerted effort to understand how your student learns best. It may not surprise you that we are all wired differently, so there is great merit in supporting your student with appropriate study gifts that will complement their core strengths. In fact, it wouldn’t be unheard of for your college or high school student to not understand themselves as well as you may understand them. As the people who love them most in their lives, we wouldn’t expect anything less. 🙂
For example, if your student does well with a mixture of Auditory and Kinesthetic learning styles, they may hear and listen better when touching something completely separate from the subject. For generations students who “doodled” were reprimanded by educators because it was assumed that they weren’t focused. However, it was discovered later that “fidgeters” had their own set of study factors, and intentional fidgeting can be very effective.
Is it any wonder why the Fidget Spinner was invented? Now there is an abundance of new fidget inventions designed to improve learning conditions by engaging in an activity that uses a sense other than what’s required for the primary task. Fidget Toys (like our Lemon Stress Ball!), sensory balls, and desk toys can be instrumental in calming the senses, improving concentration, decreasing stress, and increasing the actual enjoyment of the test studying process. (Now you know why that Squeezy Stress ball magically feeds you your best ideas! But this isn’t about you…back to them).
Tactile learners need to build and break things while memorizing new data. (Mystery solved! Now you know who has been pulling apart all your favorite ballpoint pens and breaking all those crayons in half!) Any guess what to put in this gift box? Nurture their brain function with Legos, playdoh, and kinesthetic sand. Trust us, these things will help and your college kid will love you for knowing it.
For some students listening to music, or relaxing soundscapes while reading a textbook can enhance focus and improve performance. If you know that your student is an auditory learner, A new set of headphones and playlist of study music would be a nice addition to your study gift box.
You may have a chewer in your family— and you’ll know it because you’ve got a bunch of pencils lying around the house with teeth marks. Instead of sending them more #2s to gnash on, try sending them a mouth fidget. Oh yes, they exist. A quick search will show you a mountain of non-food items suitable for chewing on. If you’re looking for something edible, the Large Caramels Box and Fudge Brittle are perfect for this! Even better if they can bring the chew toy with them to the final exam. (Yes, we know your child is not a dog. We didn’t mean to imply. Carry on.)
Of course, gum or breath mints can have a similar effect. Hey, why not? Throw those into your Finals Gift Bag as well.
Bottom line: when you understand how your student performs best, you can support them with gifts that strengthen their focus while learning, studying, and test-taking. Go on, encourage those mindless activities that our parents scolded us for… that’s the American way! (But seriously… it is). When you know what will enrich your student’s study sessions, you know what to send in their Finals Week Care Package.
Final Exam Gift Box Ideas For the Anxious Test Taker
Some beautiful minds are terrific test takers…and some aren’t. Movement Meditation is the practice of calming the mind with a mundane task such as walking, cleaning, or just bouncing a ball over and over again while allowing new thoughts to enter more effortlessly. For others, annihilating anxiety could be as easy as turning it inside out. Adding some positive anecdotes to your studier’s gift basket – (attached to the snacks so they don’t miss them!) – is a great way to remind them that even anxiety brings opportunity to strengthen their study skills by allowing them to deliberately choose courage and resilience.
Remind them that Education is a Privilege
It may feel counterintuitive to bring this up to your stressed-out test-taker, but sometimes a wider perspective helps to ease the anxiety. Informing them of what people around the world have done to learn without persecution, and the lengths they were willing to go to obtain new wisdom may inspire your student, and give them a sense of appreciation for their schooling. Education gives your student a voice and a presence – whether that’s through the way she uses words, creates, or performs on the stage. All setbacks are temporary, disappointment doesn’t last and enough courage can lift your student higher than they dreamed possible. Sending them little stories of what others have done to excel in their education – or about their personal heroes who may have also struggled taking tests – will help them see themselves in their stories.
Journey Down Memory Lane
Remember how excited they were when your bright student got accepted into college? Or when they first became a high school freshman? It was a moment when they were not worried about final exams or getting high marks on term papers. In fact, if you had told them about how hard finals week was going to be, they would probably laugh at you, and tell you they were up for the challenge— and no matter how grueling it might be, it was going to be worth it. Chances are you took a picture of them. And now would be a great time to send it.
Summon up that School Spirit
Remind them that where they are is exactly where they’ve always wanted to be. Some new school spirit wear should enhance that mental prompt. Awakening school pride is perfect for a positive mindset and can give your learner the hustle they need to buckle down. Think banners, koozies, t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, coffee mugs, as well as m&ms or other color coated candy in school colors. In essence, you can’t go wrong with a box full of spirit wear.
Write them a note of encouragement
Amid the toys and treats, make sure you’ve included a heartfelt letter that expresses how proud of them you are, that you believe in them and that you don’t need a test score to know their brilliant capabilities, or the incredible life that you know is waiting for them.
Your test-taker might appreciate a story you’ve never told them about when YOU were in college, or a story about their determination as a toddler where they can draw a connection to who they are now.
Most importantly, make sure your note conveys just how much you are cheering for them on the sidelines, knowing how overwhelmed, confused, and tired they must be, but how they always stay the course and flourish. With a box filled with this kind of love, your student will have no choice but to pass their final exams with flying colors.