Pressure's on, and sunshine isn't helping
School is very stressful for everyone — some more than others — and the height of this pressure is from May to June, especially for juniors. This is because of a variety of things that students have been preparing for the entire school year, or for the entirety of high school.
For starters, teachers are trying to cram the rest of the curriculum in before finals hit, while AP instructors are preparing students for the dreaded AP tests. I, for one, am currently taking four AP classes, and each class acts like it's the only AP test I have to prepare for. Many teachers don't seem to realize we already have so much on our plate and only so much time to chew through it. Meanwhile, on top of this, the teachers in the non-AP classes are still piling on work, hoping to have students complete everything they need to learn before finals. This can be too much, leaving many students behind in more than one class.
In addition, many juniors are taking or preparing for standardized tests. The SAT and ACT both have May and June test dates, lining up perfectly with both AP tests and finals. Most juniors at my school choose the May test date because one of the locations is at our school, while some push it off to June. As for me, I've taken the ACT in both October and February, but I'm also taking it in June, hoping to add a few points onto my score. Also, SAT or ACT prep is worked on in between the mountain of class work and studying for classes.
I find it especially hard to tackle the copious amount of assignments and study packets because this is Oregon. Once the sun goes away in October or November, it's non-existent until May. The Portland metro area often doesn't even get a substantial amount of snow, just grey skies and rain. When the weather outside is so sad and dreary, it doesn't even bother me too much to plant myself in a chair and work through it. But, when signs of summer begins to show, all I want to do is be down at the dock with my friends or driving around soaking up the sun. It is a lot more difficult to sit down and get assignments done when the glaring sun is constantly teasing me to push my duties to the back of my brain and have fun.
I just ask for adults to realize that during these months students are under a crushing amount of pressure, and to respect that. I also ask that students look at the light at the end of the tunnel and make it through. It'll be worth it in the end.
Tate Ericson is a junior at Wilsonville High School.