Second Semester Stress

The mindset of students and teachers going into the third quarter


Photo courtesy of Higher Education via Google Images

The start of the second semester is typically regarded as the “grind time” by most students. Although this can be collectively agreed upon, the degree of work and stress that it brings is experienced differently by students and teachers in differing grade levels. Seniors, although maybe having less stress related to classwork, are putting graduating and getting into college as their top priority. This brings up the commonly used term, “senioritis.” Because they are in the home stretch, all they want to do is to conclude their high school chapters. On the other side, freshman and sophomores are frequently worried more about the grade side of things and passing their classes, rather than passing the school.  With multiple years still left to go, all they can do is prep their grades for when they have to start worrying about their lives after high school. 

Although seniors ease off the second half of the school year, the first half is when they really go through strenuous periods of stress because, essentially, they are planning the road maps to their futures. Senior Abby McQuillan says, “The minute I finished all my college apps, my attitude switched from trying to learn to just trying to graduate. I just want to have fun now and enjoy my last few months as a high schooler.” She continues, “In the first half of the year I was trying really hard to make sure that my transcript reflected the best possible grades I could get.” This also causes a lack of enthusiasm from students and irregular attendance trends.

Some could even argue that teachers with seniors as students have different educational standards as compared to others. Battlefield Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Jaiswal, states, “Senior students are taking chemistry to graduate and my goals are the same for all my students. I try to keep my students motivated and engaged in class activities.” She continues, “Work ethics differ from seniors to underclassmen. Seniors miss school more frequently and skip their flex time also. This attendance issue impacts their performance and grades.” These underclassmen are much more likely to care about issues like attendance and are definitely faced with a larger concern for possible repercussions. 

Underclassmen have a completely different outlook on the second semester, as they face the SOL and finals season. Freshman Madeline Witt says, “For the next semester, I am going to try my best to focus at school as much as I can and not procrastinate on things like homework or studying.” Goals such as this are shared commonly amongst other freshman, sophomores, and juniors alike. Unlike the seniors, they are faced with putting grades above most other obligations as the end of the year approaches.

With testing season not too far around the corner, each student is faced with a different set of trials and tribulations compared to their peers. Seniors may have it a bit easier this time around, but everyone is going to experience the overbearing stresses of SOLs, finals, and even college applications. Even though there is not much one can do to avoid this, Bobcats should know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.