Grace Baek Jeffrey Trail Middle 8th Grade
Summer break is an intermission from school, usually given with the intent to give exhausted students a break from the constant stress received through the never-ending tests, projects, grades, and homework. However, instead of using this time to enjoy their break to the fullest, Irvine students are taking intensive academies and summer schools. Rising freshmans often take the health class, a required credit to graduate high school, while juniors and seniors are preparing for college admissions. Why do students sacrifice these 3 months of break?
Eric Zhu, an incoming freshman at Northwood High School, takes blended health classes at Creekside High School every Monday from 10:00am- 12:00am. The amount of dedication required is relatively minimal. He has enough free time to “just sleep, play games, and spend time with friends.” In order to spend time more effectively through the following years, health class and the summer before entering freshman year is only a stepping stone.
On the other hand, rising junior at Portola High School Kaylee Seo attends ACT, AP Psychology, and AP Physics summer classes at an academy. Because she is taking the SAT and ACT on September and October, summer is a critical time for her to prepare. Although the work is stressful, it’s a “natural thing for most juniors.”
David Lee is a senior at Beckman, preparing for college. As a business major student, he is attending a business and media summer class at Boston University, as well as SAT classes. Because months of work is crammed into 2 weeks, the “program is very stressful.” Just like every other senior, he is spending his summer break the busiest way possible.
Because Irvine is already known to be an education based community where students are always striving for competition to rise at the top, the results are not that unexpected. However, from freshman to seniors, only difference was not the type of summer they spent, but also a growing sense of authority and control over their future. High school is a time of growth, where major transitions occur from young adolescents, confused on which direction to head to, all the way to mature, independent individuals that display responsibility for their future. Moving from grade to grade, new experiences and encounters paves a path between the end of high to the beginning of college, from the present to the future, establishing a direction to head to next.
The reason why students chose to spend their summer break this way is because they did not lose sight of the end goal, even when it seemed as if the finish line was unreachable. All high school students spending their summer break in the worst way possible for the best of their future definitely deserves an applause, or maybe even just a pat on the back.
<Grace Baek Jeffrey Trail Middle 8th Grade