With July just starting, the next school year still seems a world away. But the stress of senior year is already getting to me, and I wonder whether or not all the work I am putting in now is worth it.
Scholarship deadlines are already here, leaving me feeling rushed to get the things I need done in time. Many of my peers and I are hard at work doing online classes, hoping to get some required credits done to open more space in our schedules for classes that we want to take.
Many honors and AP classes require summer work, which definitely does not leave your summer feeling free from school. Students doing summer internships are also hard at work, hoping to gain valuable experience. Then there are many who aren’t doing any school work, but are trying to make as much money as they can with a summer job, because the future that many of us want isn’t cheap.
There are also those who spend their summer on a field or in the high school gym, preparing for sports seasons that are still months away and voluntarily pushing themselves to their physical limits. The school year is just under two months away, yet the stress that it is bound to bring has already hit many of us.
When I was in elementary school, summer was a time of bliss. I felt like Phineas and Ferb, spending the seemingly endless summer days having adventures around the neighborhood with my friends. By the time the school year began, I was refreshed, and even excited. Now, I only dread the day in August when I have to return to the halls of Grantsville High and the huge workload that I have taken on.
With all the work that I am putting in, I can’t help but wonder: is it really worth it? I see people my age spending their summer without a care in the world, not one bit concerned about their future. I envy those who spend every day vacationing and relaxing. After all, this is my last summer before my high school career is over; shouldn’t I be enjoying every moment of it?
Sure, I do sleep in an extra hour or two in the mornings, and I’m not doing homework for eight different classes, but I am doing much more than I ever imagined I would ever be required to do during a time that is supposed to be a “break” from school. It seems to be that the break from school no longer exists. Is it worth giving that up?
Yes, it absolutely is. During my junior year, I took a challenging AP class. When the members of my class were feeling low levels of motivation to do the work our teacher asked us to do, he would tell us that we could choose to either work hard now and play later, or play now and work hard later.
Though at that time I was much more concerned about attending the basketball game that night than making flashcards, I have since learned that my teacher couldn’t be more right. By taking on stressful things now, it is going to relieve some of the stress of the future. By working to meet scholarship deadlines and earn money for our futures, we are going to be less stressed about money as we enter the rest of our lives.
By taking challenging courses in high school and doing the summer work required for them, we are going to be more prepared for college and more likely to impress the colleges that we are applying to. By participating in summer athletic programs, not only are we going to be more prepared when the season for our sport arrives, but we are also going to reap the many benefits that come from a healthy lifestyle.
This philosophy doesn’t just apply to high school students like me, but it applies to everyone at any part in their life. The hard work you are putting in now is not only going to benefit you, it’s going to make life later on easier for you, and it’s important to learn that as soon as possible. Work hard now, so that you can play later.
Cartwright will be a senior at Grantsville High School this fall.