We know that high schoolers today are busy—to the extent that some reports show it’s a struggle for students to fit sleep and downtime into schedules jam-packed with school, homework, extracurriculars, and work. The day-to-day hustle can be a lot to juggle for young people building their futures. STC interns took us inside their average school day for a glimpse at favorite classes, homework work load, and more.
By Opeyemi Ajala
STARTING THE MORNING OFF
As I walk up 5 flights of stairs out of breath, I begin to think about the work I need to get done throughout the day. Between coming up with ideas for my community service club to do for Wellness Week, adding the final touches to my team’s 10 page DECA essay for business (also known as Distributive Education Clubs of America), studying for both my AP Environmental Science and African American History test on Friday, and preparing for my discussion on the book If Beale Street Could Talk in my African American Literature class, I realize that I that I don’t have a lot of my hands. I really need to utilize any free time that I have throughout the day to get it done.
The minute I enter the breakfast room, I bring out my notecards on my history vocabulary words, and begin to interpret every definition into my own word to better understand each meaning, and then I switch to my science notecards and do the same. As my friends come over to sit down at the table, they know that when they see notecards, they become my study buddies, and they take one stack to help me memorize each card. At 8:00AM, leadership calls us back and gets ready to dismiss us since there are no announcements this morning. Once my table is dismissed, I head over to my locker, which I share with one of my closest friends, then head to my AP Statistics class, which honestly, compared to other days, was fairly tolerable. It’s generally hard learning statistics without an actual teacher to teach us, but since it was a Khan Academy day, it felt great to not feel stressed out.
EARLY AFTERNOON: SKIMMING NOTES & BRAINSTORMING
Then, I head to my study hall room, where I begin to skim my notes, and once I’m done, I set up the community service club agenda. I leveraged ideas off of TikTok and came up with charging people $3 per ticket, and $1 per snack and $1 per beverage, for a movie night, with all the proceeds going towards Habitat for Humanity, which is a nonprofit organization that helps people build or improve a place they can call home. Then, I came up with the idea of having an affirmation bulletin board so students can write to their peers. Words of affirmation allow my peers to feel like they’re being seen and it’ll boost up their confidence as they begin to work towards closing out the school year. Then, I think of journaling as a way for students to express how they feel when they are stressed out and feel the need to release some form of energy.
Afterward, I head out to my next class, AP Seminar, where we talk about the role that the judicial system plays in the lives of African American men, and the role of African American women within the household. Once our discussion comes to an end, we are given a prompt for our final write, which we submit as we dismiss to our next class. For me, that was African American history, where we had a lecture on the “Early Civil Rights Movement,” gaining a deeper understanding of how the Double V. Campaign and the actions of leaders such as A. Philip Randolph helped push us into the Civil Rights Movement, alongside the introduction of leaders like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
LUNCH TIME = HOMEWORK TIME
Right after history, I have lunch, and that’s where I take my time to get any homework done, because I prefer to have little to no work to do once I get back home from a long day at school. I managed to complete 2 assignments before lunch ended and I had to go to gym. My 1st gym class of the week consists of only 8 people, which I love, because I honestly don’t think that I can be in a class full of 92 people like I was last year. We split our small group in half with 4 on the field and 4 ready to kick, we played kickball until it was time to dismiss. Sadly my team lost by 3 points, with the score being 35-32. But it was still fun to do activities where we get to laugh and have fun, so I’m glad that I was able to leave the gym and head to my environmental science class still laughing and smiling.
In my APES class, things were pretty light. We had a lecture on the sewage treatment, and begin to learn the process of how large debris is taken out of the sewage water, the biological breakdown of organic matter in sewage water, and the chemical treatments used to reduce the pollutants left in the sewage water. We do a couple of practice problems and then dismiss to go home once the bell rings.
END OF THE DAY
However, for students who will be participating in the business state competition like myself, we stay after school till 4:30 to work on any final edits for the 10 page essay before we make our google slides for the competition. Me and my teammates are naturally nervous, as this is our first year competing and we want to make sure that we place 1st to 8th in our category in order to make it to nationals in Florida. But with the motivation from our peers, we know that these nervous jitters are just that, and we have this competition in the bag.