The Final Battle

For the Class of 2014, the final battle is upon us. In six days, senior spring officially begins, heralding new levels of senioritis for some and the demanding chaos of senior projects for others. However, until then, we are  fully submersed in academia. Trimester Two grades are the final challenge, our last opportunity to take high school exams, earn high honors, or perhaps secure a seat in second cut Cum Laude. For these last six days, we must apply ourselves as rigorously as ever.

It is a universal challenge, regardless of school or vigor of curriculum. The temptation to slack off during senior spring is felt by all, from those in remedial classes to the straight-A students. Once spring break begins, there are no more final exams, aside from APs, no stress whatsoever, aside from moving on from high school, and no college applications, aside from financial packages.

However, there are still reasons to care. Colleges can still revoke your acceptance if you go from A’s and B’s to C’s and D’s. While there is more room for error, the need to succeed remains.

Fellow Editor-in-Chief Brendan Hellweg ’14 asks, “We have trimester two assessments?”

“Trimester Two assessments are an opportunity for seniors to review what they have done over the past two trimesters. More importantly, everything after the second trimester assessments is an opportunity for seniors to learn without the pressure of exams,” says Christian Knapp ’14.

These assessments are, from an intellectual perspective, the final hurdle before we can relax. The easiest way to relax, however, is with the satisfaction of a battle well-fought. There is a purity of intent in giving all of one’s effort for an arbitrary set of tasks, in seeing a line of pretty numbers on a sheet of paper.

After this week, we seniors will enter the final stretch of high school. Regardless of the importance of these assessments, their relevance is only a singular measure of our effort and dedication. If we do not work hard academically, we are only waiting for graduation to come and/or to get into hot water for entertaining ourselves in nonproductive and foolish ways.

For everyone else, these coming trials are just another step in the grand scheme of high school. They matter as much as any other exams, hold the same awards, and offer the same opportunities for grade inflation and correction. Some of us have made unfortunate decisions with our time management that have left us in disadvantaged positions, seniors included. The need for this final push, this final drive to achieve, falls heavily on those looking for positive change and those looking to avoid a slip from insufficient studying.

Everyone sees these assessments in different lights. “I don’t like them. I probably won’t end up studying,” says Ryan LaBelle ’14. Across the spectrum, Brittany Collins ’14 says that “Trimester Two assessments are very important to me, because I haven’t gotten into college yet and I’m hoping to finish strong and they’re very nerve-wracking.” Senior Elizabeth Calderone sums it up most simply: “They mean the last exams I have to take in high school.”

Trimester Two assessments are the just the beginning for some and the gate to temporary freedom for others. Regardless of what one thinks, however hard one studies or procrastinates, they will come, and we will take them in due time. Grades will come out, our transcripts will be updated, or nearly finished, and then we will be on break. Trimester Two assessments matter as much as any others, and should be taken as seriously as others.