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Life as a Sophomore

By: Katarina Maldarelli and Chaivin Moon

We both had looked forward to sophomore year with a mix of excitement and, admittedly, more than a little trepidation. We expected that tenth grade would present its own unique set of challenges, as would the brand-new merger of the middle and high school. Now, after approximately six weeks of being sophomores, we conclude that we were pretty much on point in our feelings.

To begin, while some assumed that the joining of the middle school with the high school might result in chaos, the truth is it barely made a ripple in the functioning of the school. We think this is because great pains were taken to separate the two groups. The fact is, we rarely even see the middle schoolers during the day, except when one of us purposely takes the middle school staircase. On the plus side, one definite benefit of the addition of the middle school, in our opinion, is that we are able to stop by and visit our former teachers!

One significant change that resulted from the inclusion of grades seven and

eight into high school was the necessity to completely revamp the class schedule. The

biggest change is that the schedule now consists of a seven-day rotation, rather than by day of the week. Initially, we worried that this might be a little difficult, but we found that adjusting to the change was much easier than expected. In our opinion, a positive thing about the change to the schedule is the addition of an "X-block.” What we like is that it creates a built-in mod to study to get homework done. We appreciate that these details show the time, effort, and hard work that the administrators put into devising this schedule.

Generally speaking, we have found that sophomore classes are a bit different from

freshman year classes. For one thing, it is very obvious that expectations are much higher for this grade level, which is probably not surprising. The other notable difference is the increased workload, and we suspect that APUSH is the biggest culprit. APUSH is an extremely fast-paced course, and a huge volume of material is covered in each class. Sleep or zone out, and you’ll miss out! Not only will you end up being completely lost on assignments and tests (which are frequent), but you also risk the humiliation of being cold-called and not knowing what to say.

Finally, the increased workload discussed above can have a detrimental effect on two

major areas of students’ lives: sleep and time management. We confess that our sleep schedules are suffering as a result of the classes we decided to take this year. Likewise, the amount of time we have to relax or simply devote to other activities, like spending quality time with family and friends, is greatly diminished because of all the homework and studying we must do to keep our grades up. On top of having other extracurricular activities, like swim and dance, most days we come home from school and do homework for a million hours. Therefore, days when we only have homework for three classes are a wonderful surprise.

As was expected, sophomore year so far has been one of many changes and challenges, both good and not so good. We recognize the importance of learning, and we understand that being successful in life takes hard work. We just wish that maybe there could be a better balance between working hard and hardly working. To end on a “high point,” we believe to think that such a solution is not beyond our grasp.

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