It’s summertime, meaning students have been looking forward to hanging out with friends and being free from homework assignments, tests, and projects. Students have been anticipating the last day of school, on the last minute of the last hour, so that they can sleep in without any alarms waking them. But for many high school students, their summer is not the one they hoped for.
Students have learned to utilize the summer, meant to give them a break from academics, for even more academics. Preparing for standardized tests and building a great college resume isn’t easy. With the race to top colleges becoming more and more competitive, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. SAT and ACT prep schools are booming, with students with wide ranging scores seeking help to make their college applications look a little more appealing. Summer assignments for high level classes are typical, with some schools requiring students to read several books and study multiple chapters out of textbooks for tests they will be taking during the first week of school.
Although I often criticize the system, I am guilty of being a part of it. Currently, I am taking SAT classes every weekday, with many hours of homework per day. It is a tamed version of school, although the stress and lack of sleep is about the same. When I am not doing work for SAT prep, I am working on the summer assignments that are required for the classes I will be taking in the fall. I have only seen my friends twice during the whole summer.
Surely, I am not alone when I say that summer break does not feel like a break. Ashley Lee, an incoming junior at Beverly Hills High School said, “Students are struggling to keep up with the exponential growth of competitiveness. Some students, if they’re not working on something for college, they’re still thinking about college and haunted by their fear of rejection. Kids can’t be kids anymore.”
Even though students are taught to work hard to achieve their dreams, they are also taught to enjoy their lives. We must ask ourselves: Is sacrificing our youth worth the college? In a perfect world, students should be able to use summertime to enjoy their freedom from school; it shouldn’t be used for more school.
Christina Im, Grade 10
Beverly Hills High School