The third nine weeks drag

During the 2022-2023 school year, the third marking period stretches from Jan. 21 to March 24.

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During the 2022-2023 school year, the third marking period stretches from Jan. 21 to March 24.

Each school year is separated into four nine week marking periods. I have started to notice that the hardest and most draining part of the year is, by far, the third nine weeks. Many students feel hopeless during the third nine weeks. There is no longer the excitement of the beginning of school, nor are students looking forward to the holiday season, it is a long blended part of the year where every week feels virtually the same.

Since students have just recently come off of winter break, Jan through March feels extremely long. Ninth grade world history teacher David Goobic expressed his frustration for students, saying that every year he sees a drop in his students’ grades during the third marking period.

“At this point in the year, kids get tired of school, there aren’t many breaks, and the weather gets warmer, so students shut down.” Goobic said. 

It makes underclassmen realize how much school they have left and whether they can handle the workload for the rest of the year. Upperclassmen, especially seniors, become anxious to graduate and for school to be over, so they do not feel like trying anymore. The decreased motivation towards studies displayed by students close to graduating, known as “Senioritis,” kicks in for seniors who feel done with high school and are ready for college.

Typically in the third nine weeks, teachers increase the workload due to approaching Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and exams. There are not normally as many laid back and ‘fun’ days in school, making the third nine weeks overwhelming for a lot of students. This increased workload does not mix well with students’ existing fatigue and unwillingness to do work. 

Feb. and March are also when teachers talk to students about students’ upcoming year’s schedules. While this can be exciting, it creates a lot of stress for students. There are so many options and students want to pick courses that look good on college applications, are enjoyable and are adequately rigorous without being overwhelming. Sophomore Bailey Burket explained how the scheduling process created a lot of anxiety for her. 

“Picking my schedule was definitely stressful for me,” Burket said. “It was hard because I wanted classes with my friends, but I also needed to pick what was right for me.” 

English teacher Thomas Cox’s third block odd day class took a survey as to which nine weeks they believed was the worst of the four. Seventeen of the 21 students in the class agreed with my theory: the third nine weeks is the most dreadful. Because of that, I can confidently say that the third marking period is the most difficult and draining.