The 10th Grade Gray-Area

By Maggie Hatt, Journalist

If you’re anything like me, you dread the days when you have to get up early to meet with a teacher, and you’re always trying to study right before a test is given, even though five minutes of cramming (more than likely) won’t have an astronomical impact on your score. This is all just a part of the normal, so-called, “high-school experience”, isn’t it?

So far, sophomore year has been a blur of club meetings, soccer practices, and memorizing vocabulary that I will probably never use in my lifetime. However, in the midst of all these things that seem only to be deja-vu of freshman year, I’ve realized that college has begun creeping closer every single day. Yes, it’s not time to start applying, or even deciding on a major, but 10th grade is a point in high school where college is just close enough that you can see it, but too far away to seriously think about while coping with all of the other stresses. We’re all still learning how to manage time, to complete our homework by the deadline, and to have fun in the process (though I will admit sometimes it can be hard to make time to relax with friends, or go somewhere, when all you have the energy to do is watch three seasons of The Office in one sitting). There are AP tests to prepare for, math tests to take, and lab write-ups to complete, but there are also adventures to go on, and places to explore. Keeping a good balance of fun, school, family, and friends is something that is really hard for me because a lot of the time I am more worried about my grades or tests coming up than I am about taking time for myself to relax and decompress to help limit the anxiety school can sometimes be the root of.

Give yourself 30 minutes before bed to just read, or write, without thinking too much about anything. Spend some time at the park, or with a sibling playing a game. Regardless of your age, balance is a key part of life, and can sometimes be hard to maintain with a busy schedule.

Grades are a huge part of that busy schedule for me as they are a huge factor in making school, at the very least, somewhat enjoyable because of my competitive spirit. The idea of college, and compiling a list of places I’d like to go, only motivates me more to succeed in my classes, but at times it can be very overwhelming. Sophomore year is sort of a gray-area in the realm of college. Do I look at colleges, or is it too early? Should I plan my classes around the school I want to go to and what I want to major in? I don’t know, I’m only 15, I haven’t done any of this before, but that’s the fun of it. You get to figure out where you want to go as early on as you want. You get to choose what you want to do. The idea of being the person that determines my future is quite terrifying to me, as someone who doesn’t necessarily like to express my opinions and aspirations publicly. The scariest thing is that in just one summer, the leap from 10th to 11th grade, I’ll start preparing for the ACT, visiting colleges, and will likely be deciding on where I want to go to school before applying senior year. In a few years, most of this won’t matter. The stress of high school will be left behind, and we will have college to worry about. While in school, take the opportunity to challenge yourself by enrolling in an AP class, or by joining a club you’re interested in.  All of the hard work now will pay off in the end. Just you wait.


Categories: Features

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