The Gregory School is a rigorous college preparatory school. Its classes are challenging and its extracurriculars demanding. Naturally students often feel anxiety and stress because of the intense workloads.
Students often take five or six Advanced Placement (AP) courses, play sports year round, participate in leadership activities, and take part in theater productions—all at the same time. Naturally, students frequently feel overwhelmed.
Seniors especially experience high levels of anxiety at this time of year because they are doing all they can to get accepted into the colleges they’d like to attend.
“I feel very stressed. It’s hard for me to balance my workload while still doing things I enjoy,” senior Asha Ramakumar said. “In some cases, the school assigns too much homework. I have to do a lot of reading, which can really be exhausting. I also often have multiple activities taking place at the same time, which makes me have to pick between them, which can also be stressful.”
However, not just seniors are stressed out. TGS students across the high school often share similar sentiments. “Certain teachers assign way too much homework,” sophomore Michael Artzi said. “It gives me very little time to do what I enjoy.”
In my opinion, The Gregory School, with its intense workload and high focus on extracurricular activities is simply doing its job as a college preparatory school by putting a lot on students’ plates. By making sure they stay busy, the school improves the endurance of these students, and readily prepares them to succeed in university and beyond.
The school’s alumni feel as though the school has, through the high stress levels, done its job as a college preparatory school. “College is super easy for me now,” recent TGS alumni Arii Sylvers said. “TGS taught me how to manage my workload successfully, and those skills give me a lot more time to enjoy myself in college.” Sylvers is currently a freshman at Howard University in Washington DC.
However, certain aspects of TGS cause unnecessary anxiety and tension within the community. The schedule this year is stressful. Many students arrive at school earlier than they did last year because zero hour classes commence at 7:30 in the morning.
Last year, we started school at 7:50 AM. Classes also end later than before at 3:30 pm as opposed to 2:30 pm. Because classes meet less frequently, teachers, especially AP teachers who have to teach a certain amount of content before the end of the year, often feel forced to assign more homework to students to ensure they get through their curriculums despite having less class time.
This means that TGS students every night have one less hour to spend on larger amounts of homework, and often get less sleep because they have to wake up earlier in the morning.
Students, in order to adjust accordingly, have developed ways to cope. “I make sure to utilize my free blocks now,” Artzi said.
Even though many students find themselves sleep deprived, others have made sure to get a good night’s sleep, despite having zero hour classes. “I make sure I sleep nine hours a night,” Ramakumar said.
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