Fourth Quarter: a stressful, unmotivated nine weeks


Photo by Hannah Yeary

AHS’s jam-packed schedule of important year-end events.

‘Tis the season of senioritis and extreme lack of motivation. As AHS students approach the middle of the fourth quarter, stress levels spike significantly while their motivation and quality of work plummet.

The rapid approach of IB exams, finals, and important end of the year events create a lot of stress for AHS students. This stress on top of the exciting feelings toward summer and the unbroken 9-week schedule after spring break creates a tense, unmotivated atmosphere at AHS.

One hundred percent of interviewed students mentioned that school, or a specific aspect of school, was the most stressful factor in their life. For many students, including senior Sarah Miller, this school-related stress becomes too much to handle.

“I don’t manage stress. I push it down,” Miller said.

Junior Elie Clark also struggles to maintain her quality of work and remain focused during the final stretch of the year.   

“Fourth quarter is slowly killing me,” Clark said.

However, many students have personal stress relief methods that help them during this taxing time. Methods include running, swimming, cooking, and listening to calming music. Still, high-stress levels are difficult to manage, particularly by the end of high school.

Seniors face pressure coupled with an extreme lack of motivation due to impending events and the fact that many of them have already been accepted to college. Cole Petersen, a senior at AHS, struggles with this brutal combination during the fourth quarter.

“I am under-motivated and overstressed which is not a great combination. We’re obviously so close to graduation but that path is permeated with the absolute pain and suffering that is studying for and taking IB exams. I feel like I’ve done everything I can do over the past 15 quarters and I don’t want to give anymore,” Petersen said.

To many students, the growing culture of grade and college hyperawareness is the cause of these high-stress levels.

“There has to be a massive cultural shift that changes our focus from grades and where we get into college to mental and social health and learning for the sake of learning rather than to get grades,” Petersen said.

No matter if this stress stems from the school atmosphere, workload, the lack of breaks in the fourth quarter, or other important events, it is still prevalent in the AHS student body. There are simply too many stressful factors packed into the last few weeks of the school year. Because of this, the atmosphere of AHS and the well-being of students is significantly affected.