Local Students Keep The Brain Working

• Many Peninsula students keep their brains working on SAT courses and summer school while finding time for the beach.

Summer marks the start of family vacations, beach days and relentless sun. After staying in school for seven hours a day, the free time is a release for all students.

However, for some students, summer marks the beginning of rigorous test prep, tutoring, volunteering and summer school. Just when the fun began, it was stopped by homework, essays and work.

Students on the Hill, especially the ones going into their junior year, feel the pressure of performing as well as or beyond their peers in order to get their name out there to be viewed by colleges and corporations.

Balancing all the academic focuses and spare time to do fun activities is a tough task to handle.
“I knew that my summer was going to be busy,” incoming junior Ari Cho said. “I feel like this summer I needed to work hard since all of my past summers I did not do anything academically related, but I am glad I chose to do this.”

Online summer school demands commitment and rigorous focus on the curriculum in order to not fall behind on assignments. The recommended work time is four hours or more per day sitting and looking at the computer screen.

 On top of that, SAT prep from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon with volunteering sprinkled in from time to time is the recipe for a summer filled with non-stop work.

“Summer is the time when I can sit back, relax and read a good book,” incoming junior Nicole Tam said. “This summer is totally different with my SAT prep and volunteering, but all my friends are with me and that is all that I need.”

Despite all the negative opinions about a work-filled summer, in the long run, there are some benefits of working hard daily. Completing summer school would be one less class to take during the year, which could lessen the load during the competitive junior year.

In addition, preparing for tests such as the ACT and the SAT can help with receiving  offers for opportunities such as scholarships.  
“I am doing many academically related activities this summer, which could be overwhelming, and I would not have time to just relax, but I know it is all to help me,” incoming junior Anne Lee said.

 “Honestly, I am kind of excited to be surrounded by a different environment with different people,” she said.
Most teenagers focus on the here and now, and do not really plan on the future at this age, so a time-consuming summer is not the ideal summer they imagine.

Some may choose to do summer school voluntarily, while others are forced to attend, but in the end, they are all in the same boat. They may have an abundance of work and no play, but they are still surrounded by their friends since they are all in this together.

 Summer does not always represent either the sun or test packets, but it symbolizes the time when peers become friends inside and outside of the classroom.

By Nina Li