Fourth quarter: the beginning of the end

April 17 and the end of the third marking period could not come fast enough. Even though the start of the fourth marking period is signaled by nothing more than not having to change for gym class for a day, the next week definitely felt different.

The final marking period is by far the best in all of high school. The weather is great, classes become easier, and seniors provide all the entertainment one could for ask for while in class. As in most undertakings, the third quarter is always the hardest; teenagers weren’t meant to stay focused for so long. So you can understand my excitement now that we are on the final stretch. From here the school year will seem to fly by, and ironically I’ll look back with nostalgia, wishing it had gone on even longer.

However, not all is peaceful in the fourth quarter. With AP exams quickly approaching, it is easy to become swamped with revision work. Combined with the expectation to take the SAT and study for finals, this obligation creates a dangerous cocktail of all-nighters and anxiety. As PHS students we are lucky to have teachers who understand predicaments such as these. Even though they are currently negotiating new contracts, many of my teachers have sacrificed their time to conduct review sessions or modified their curriculum to make sure we are prepared. Their help is comforting since, as a junior, I’m faced with the real possibility that this marking period will affect my long-term career options.

The improved weather that marks the fourth quarter fosters a greater sense of school unity. The cacophony of laughter, gossip, and socializing resonates within the the front circle during break. Freshman events such as Spring Fling and Field Day provide an opportunity for the students to come together.

Personally, as the third quarter of this year wound down, so did my grades. A new quarter is a new leaf; there are endless possibilities, including potentially getting that 150 percent I need to end with an A in AP Biology. A new quarter is an opportunity to improve and forget about any mistakes you made previously, such as handing in an assignment three weeks late.

As a junior, I’m faced with the realization that in 365 days, I will have been accepted into a college and will be almost done with high school. The final marking period reminds me that while I have come a long way since freshman year, I still have a ways to go. Until then, the incentive of senior pranks and college acceptance is enough to pull me forward. The fourth quarter of the year is the best as it marks the beginning of the end. After a long year we can all look back on the memories we made as well as look forward to the ones we will make.


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