By Lara Sokoloff
Spring of junior year. The tension, the pressure, the stress…it’s all palpable. From the moment we return from spring college tours, many of us have a new, stronger understanding of what type of colleges we would like to end up at.
Stress climaxes with the 11th grade term paper, an assignment that represents our first ever attempt at selecting a topic, developing it and writing out, insightful paper. By making this papers due before AP, the history department unnecessarily increases the stress caused by these papers.
The history department may argue that juniors are aware of this deadline since the beginning of the second semester.
Although this is an accurate statement, I think that most juniors would agree that they don’t expect expect to write the bulk of the paper much before the due date.
These kinds of projects are inherently associated with procrastination; even those most adept at managing their time have procrastinated this assignment.
Of course we all wish we had thought about this back in February when stress levels were relatively low, but it’s too late now.
With a later due date, students would be able to dedicate more time to their papers, and thus the papers turned in would be of higher quality. The differences might be seen in small grammatical or spelling errors, or in a more drastic difference, such as clarifying and more clearly articulating the overall argument.
Late April and early May is one of the most stressful times for juniors. Swamped with preparation for Advanced Placement tests, the history paper is often thrown together at the last minute.
However, if papers were due after APs, students could concentrate 100 percent of their energy on the paper, without trying to finish while managing the stress of AP classes.
We all moan and groan, and yes, we will all get it done, but it just seems beneficial for all parties involved to extend the deadline for the paper past APs.