The third quarter slog, according to a stupid, sarcastic sophomore

As third quarter strikes, students minds power off and their grades plummet.

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As third quarter strikes, students’ minds power off and their grades plummet.

Ah, the third quarter slog, a part of school we can all come together and be apathetic about. We can all remember the rigorous work and weeks that seem to slow down like a “Matrix” gunfight during mid-February to spring break.

It’s older than my career at Cal, shoot, even older than being a voice cracking middle schooler, I remember my first slow down around February, 2011. I precisely remember coloring outside the lines and gluing my own fingers together in Kindergarten, and thinking “why, this is really dragging, isn’t it?” At least the monotony was broken when I presented my big jar of rocks, in the spirit of the 100th day of school.

However, now that the ennui of time’s endless marching has set, we’re all a little older. Old enough that the opinion of toddlers might, might, MIGHT mean a little bit less to us than literally anyone on the Internet.

As said before, though, the high school experience is no less sloggy than me ten years ago. If I was grinding in elementary school around spring time, I’m a terrible RPG these days.

You’ll always hear about senioritis, or the hardworking junior, or the totally overwhelmed freshmen who decided to take on an A period and fill half their schedule with advanced classes, and this is not entirely unwarranted. I have an older brother. Senior apathy is completely real, I tell you. 

However, you’ll never hear the story of the 3rd quarter from the tenth graders. The tragedy of the sophomores, such as yours truly, is silenced. However, when you hear tragedy, think less Shakespeare, and more dropping your food on the floor.

Today is the day. No more will the gentle sophomore be muffled. The spigot of the story must be allowed to flow. And flow it shall, like snow. Of course, if snow flowed.

To understand this tale, like most stories, a little history must be understood. Too bad I failed that class, but I’m sure you can all follow along.

It is important to keep in mind that this year’s batch of tenth graders are effectively freshmen now. Now, I’m not exactly sure why, but our brains have pretty much rotted into cheese now. Of course, this is a mystery, last year’s online classes were very mentally stimulating, don’t you worry about it.

What makes this relevant, however, is the fact that the sophs haven’t had a real third quarter slog yet. All we’ve had recently to slow us down was totally paying attention to our Zoom classes, and then the Internet crashing due to all the completely innocent tabs we had open at the same time. So, keep in mind, we’re coming in as softies.

Finally, we come around to today, and the poor people are trying to navigate the high school year after they’ve already supposed to have known what they’re doing. More specifically, me, because I can do it myself, oh ye of little faith.

For starters, why does it exist? Seriously. I’ve had so many discussions on this with my fellow soph boys, and we all come away scratching our heads. The school keeps pushing the first day back earlier each year to the point that we’ll get to enjoy a two week long summer break in not too long, and yet, there’s not a single day off in March. 

The obvious answer is that Admin wants to torture us. However, if you’re a crazy conspiracy theorist, you’d notice that we continue to throw away more breaks in the first semester. One might even point out that we had two three day weeks in November. I’d retort by screaming this person out of the room for not respecting the struggle of the tenth grade. My guys were pretty much on break for a year and a half, you have to ease us in, people!

Then, of course, the work.

There seems to be a quiz, project, whatever, every other class. Just writing this, I think of my English quiz yesterday, and my AP Euro quiz today! I’ve got a life, people (as crazy as that sounds!) I can’t spend all my time studying, I have to go home and, um, uh….um…

Oh, yes, yes, the homework! I can never finish it in tutorial, I am always distracted by the conversations of myself and my classmates! So, when I get home, I spend three hours on assignments! 

Of course, one might question my time management skills, but I’m too busy on the phone during homework time to worry about such things.

I always end up staying up past 12…doing homework, of course, that’s why I get five hours of sleep, along with all my tenth grade friends. In fact, just because the third quarter slog is so awful, let’s make school start even later, just so I can stay up later to finish all my homework! Don’t mind how this ruins every extracurricular’s schedule, I really just need my beauty sleep.

So, in conclusion, the third quarter slog sucks for sophomores. We’re all just a bunch of poor middle schoolers with a high school workload, we can’t shoulder any blame at all! I hope you can now share our plight with as sorrow and vigor as myself.