The Final Lap



The fourth quarter is a reminder of that last lap in Mario Kart: the music gets really fast and intense, and the only things you feel are stress and anxiety. (Photo Credits: Wetmount. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay)

We have made it. We have reached the final lap. The fourth quarter is a reminder of that last lap in Mario Kart: the music gets really fast and intense, and the only things you feel are stress and anxiety. Summer is right around the corner, and everyone, teachers and students alike, is yearning for that sweet taste of freedom. The teachers are done with giving and grading assignments, and students are annoyed with taking tests and turning in homework. However, it is not quite over, in fact, the hard part is just beginning.

“I can’t manage my assignments in the fourth quarter. I literally don’t have time to do so,” said junior Collin Priddy.

Teachers start laying the due dates on thick after spring break, and while this is normal for the beginning of any quarter, most students lack any motivation during the time between spring break and summer. Not only do students have high school work and commitments, but around the middle of the fourth quarter, college finals begin. Therefore, upperclassmen have to juggle regular school work, on top of studying for these crucial tests.

“Teachers stop teaching because we start focusing on exams. Everyone is feeling “summeritis” and we don’t really feel like doing our work, but we have to,” said sophomore Ana Sallurday.

(Photo courtesy of Know Your Meme)

Seniors, while most have already been accepted into college, still need to finish the second semester strong. While balancing their normal high school classes, taking college exams, and completing senior project, “senioritis” runs through their veins, which only makes completing these tasks that much harder. However, once senior project presentations are completed, it is pretty much home free. Since senior project replaces their final exams, seniors do not need to worry about passing a class or exam if they ace their final project presentations.

“For college exams and senior project coming to an end, I just remind myself of all the hard work I have put into school and how I just need to finish strong. I have worked hard for the past 11 years, so why quit now?  Finding joy in the smallest successes can push you to the finish line,” said senior Caroline Earle.

Managing your time can be difficult at this point in the school year, which makes it that more difficult to focus on one specific task. One way to combat the stress of the fourth quarter and remain successful in your classes is to not let the stress of today affect the stress of tomorrow. Not only will this idea calm your nerves in knowing your assignments for the day are completed, but you will be able to sleep and function better because of the lower levels of stress and anxiety. To aid with this, planning the week out in advance is a great way to have more control over your time. By prioritizing, you can focus on the assignments for the day, and not worry about tomorrow because you know they will be completed. This way, you are sure all of your assignments are being completed on time, and you will not have them all piled up on the same day.

“I lay out all my homework based on when it’s due and how hard it’s going to be to complete, that way I can prioritize,” said sophomore Cody Vogel.

Once the year is finally over, you can take a deep breath and realize you have completed yet another year of high school, and you are that much closer to graduation, freedom, and heading off into the real world. While this may be a terrifying thought to some and a truly liberating feeling for others, taking it one day at a time and living in the moment will ensure that you will leave high school with academic success and unforgettable memories.