What Is Your Transformer, Juniors? - Dragons News

Saturday, September 9, 2017

What Is Your Transformer, Juniors?

By Eury Hong

As the sun of August 14th rose, KISJ (Korea International School Jeju) Sophomores rose into Juniors. Not only their grade level, but also their academic life changed and is still ongoing. There are few factors: SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT(American College Testing), GPA(Grade Point Average), AP(Advanced Placement), and university pressure.

If you are questioning about the distraught of other grades, Ms. Lo, the Chinese teacher of KISJ, will refute by stating, “Every grade in KISJ has different amount of work pressure, but I bet the burden is mostly concentrated on juniors.” Sarah N.(G11) and Kate N.(G11) both agreed with Ms. Lo and said, “we are worned out from the lack of sleep as there are so many things to do besides doing homework.” It is hard to figure out how hard the junior life is just by listening to their stories. Many sophomores who are already filled with fear of junior life say that they can’t imagine how tired it will be.

Above all, Juniors are under great pressure because people believe that higher GPA leads you to a better university. As a matter of fact, many universities want to see the ‘growth’ of the student, and junior is the most important year to see whether the student has improved or not. Indeed, the students who did not manage their GPA in freshman and sophomore years have hard time getting better GPA, since the average grade greatly applies to most universities.

Not a single factor helps Junior’s life, unfortunately. APs also hamstring their aggravating-life, and put a stack of dust on their liability. Henry K.(G11) said, “I don’t mind taking other subjects, but AP calculus BC and AP language are quite challenging for me.” Other students who are taking different APs, Jiwoo L. (G11) said, “Quantity and quality of AP Psychology homework is entirely different from regular class. It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, but I should pay more attention to it.” Since the students are studying college level courses by taking the AP classes, it would definitely be strenuous for them.

In another perspective, there are some considerable merit of having AP courses. Anna J.(G 12) said, “even though taking APs in junior and senior year is quite challenging, it boosts up your GPA that you will somehow feel better when you get used to taking the classes.” This is true, APs are the booster of your weighted GPA. Students will get 0.5 grade higher for each course by taking AP subjects that their academic effort would be clearly shown through their grades. Additionally, many universities approve AP scores as university curriculum credits, therefore, students who take AP courses in high school will have advantages.

Last but not least, students are distressed by SAT or ACT, even though it is an extra curricular work. Students are having difficulties preparing for test, while studying hard for their school work. Suji K.(G9) said, “I am already undergoing the hardship just by doing school work, but juniors are doing both homework and extra works.” Not only freshman, but also Diana H.(G12), who was the junior last year said that it irritates her when she hark back to studying on various works with limited time. Meanwhile, there are some juniors who said studying for SAT is catching two birds in one stone. They think that studying for SAT is also helpful for school classes, such as English and Math. They are improving analyzing skills through SAT essay section, and it leads them to become a better writer in English class in school as well. For instance, in Mr. Shulist’s English class, students are practicing the same format of essay during their class.

Meanwhile, for juniors who struggle the workload, the school changed some policies for the sake of students’ spare time. Students can now get more sleep on Monday morning as well as Friday morning, since the school starts about thirty minutes later. School started at 8:20 last year, but now it starts at 8:52, thus giving students more time to get ready. Moreover, juniors who are living in dorm now have an option to manage their own time: dinner is not mandatory anymore and it is available to stay in lounge area for 24 hours. Additionally, if juniors become seniors, they will enjoy more freedom. For instance, the seniors can drink coffee and use any space area for study hall. This approaches for juniors to have hopeful future which lead them to endure.

Current juniors who are having hard time on their studying seems like the warriors who are struggling on battle. It is clear now for everyone to admit that junior would be the most exhausting grade in high school year based on their schedule. However, there are students who still showed positive mindset of having boosted up GPA in AP classes and gave positive comment on SAT and its relationship between school English curriculum. Likewise, school is supporting for junior as well. Though the life seems harsh, juniors of KISJ and juniors of all over the world, be thankful for the given advantages and cheer up for your indescribably beautiful dream.

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