The week before midterms or finals is arguably the worst week of the year for most teens. The “weekend” is simply an extra 48 hours to flip through notes from September; then the week that follows is five days of late night binge studying for as many as eight tests.
High school is yet another rung on the ladder preparing us for the next step in life, which is, for some of us, college. But is high school over preparation when it comes to midterms? Most college students are definitely not taking eight courses a semester. Some believe it’s ridiculous to expect someone to absorb the information of eight different subjects in four months while at the same time having a normal, teenage life. Teens are expected to look at school as their job while at the same time engaging in extracurricular activities and building a social life. And once you’re a junior or senior, you might even throw in a job to that busy schedule.
Sophomore Ashley Holdridge has seven midterms to study for. In addition to this, she is a member of the volleyball team and part of the musical. She is a perfect example of a student who has to balance all aspects of a busy, teenage life. “I feel [having fewer classes] would be more efficient because it would be less stressful for students and even teachers [who would] have fewer midterms to grade each semester,” Holdridge said.
There’s also the argument that even college curricula don’t load their students with eight classes. Ledyard High School alumni Anthony Saccone agrees with Holdridge. “Having fewer classes is much more efficient, especially in college where classes are more difficult and involved,” Saccone said.
Having so many classes at one time can also be considered harmful to our education, even if we are getting good grades. Paulo Freire, an educator and philosopher has a theory about how teenagers retain education called The Banking Concept. The concept is based off the tendency for students to simply memorize information taught to them so they can repeat it back to their teacher on a test or verbally or whatever is needed to get the good grade. The flaw in this is that the students don’t learn to think on their own about the subjects taught to them. “Class time is really what allows students to flourish as independent thinkers,” senior Joe Warmus said. “The more bookwork students do, the more information they are simply copying down into memory instead of understanding and deepening their ability to communicate and synthesize.”
Sarah Schilke, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Senior Sarah Schilke is Arts & Entertainment Editor for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is the Girl’s Cross Country captain and participates in Youth Alive Bible Club.