It’s the Most Stressful Time of the Year


Maya Yoxtheimer

Ashley Franks, sophomore and Lily Dochat, senior, working hard in their study hall to complete their final assignments for the first marking period.

Maya Yoxtheimer

As the first marking period is (finally) coming to an end I find myself scrambling to turn in my final assignments, study for tests and quizzes, and make up late work- all of which is on top of my normal school work load. As a senior at State High I expected this year to be easy: fun classes, a manageable amount of homework, and less stress than the years before. To my disappointment, I have been smacked in the face with the reality of my last year of high school proving to be more difficult than even junior year, which is often known to be the “worst year of high school.”

I would like to say that I am a fairly responsible student. Generally speaking, I complete my homework on time if not early, I study for tests until I feel I am ready, and I ask for help from teachers when I’m confused or need guidance. That being said, I still find myself overwhelmed by the impending end of the marking period, every year, every time. It is now, during my final year of high school, that I hope to understand this inevitable struggle as well as help my classmates through the end of the marking period.

The number one reason I am personally stressed at the end of each marking period is because it’s nerve wracking watching the final tests, homeworks, and in-class assignments being recorded in Home Access Center. As these assignments are entered, I watch my grades go from a high “B” to a low “A”, or worse, a rough test score bringing my solid “A” to a “B”. Teachers not entering grades in a reasonable manner also add to my stress as I check my grades obsessively to see if I can finally get an “A” in Spanish, for once.

Another reason I feel stressed at the end of each marking period is because teachers often assign a boatload of unnecessary, tedious busywork. Every high school student knows exactly what I am talking about, even Ashley Franks, a sophomore who has only been in high school for a little over a year. “Don’t save a ton of busy work for the end of the marking period. My only grade on my transcript is an “E” in German,” Franks said. I’m sure many students can relate to Franks’ struggle as she tries to pick up her grade to begin her second year of high school with a strong base.

With three more marking periods to go this year, I would like to share some advice I have gathered from my experiences over the years. My first and most important piece of advice is to stay on top of your work. I have learned the hard way my best work is not done at the last minute. Senior, Kendra Hindman agrees. “Don’t wait to make up a test that was two units ago, two days before the end of the marking period. You will fail,” said Hindman. I agree with Hindman. Be proactive and make up assignments as soon as possible.

Another helpful tip is to always try your best. Always. I find myself slacking off, especially in the beginning of the year, and I think all high school students need to find it in themselves to push a little harder and get off to a strong start every year. It will help you at the end of the year when we are all stressed about finals. You’ll be able to relax because you’ve already put in the hard work in the beginning of the year.

My final piece of advice is to ask for help. Most teachers are willing to meet with you during study hall, lunch, between periods and sometimes even after school when you’re struggling. I can speak from experience: teachers respond better to students who ask for help in the beginning than those who ask for help last minute when they have put in the bare minimum effort. If all else fails Senior Abby Kissell has one last piece of advice for those struggling to find their way. “Don’t give up,” she said with a smile. I couldn’t agree with her more.