Students in Rich Beymer's class at Niles High School intently work on a project in one of the computer labs. These are seniors getting ready for college by preparing in writing.
Students in Rich Beymer's class at Niles High School intently work on a project in one of the computer labs. These are seniors getting ready for college by preparing in writing.

Archived Story

To study or not to study?

Published 10:48am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

By BETH ALTON
Niles Daily Star

As the bell rings, students sit in their desks whipping their books and notes out to prepare for the fate they are about to face: chapter tests, section quizzes and class finals. No matter the grade – freshman or senior – the expectations of success in classes are universally sky high.

The debate of whether we are held to the same expectations between freshman and senior years are clear that they are the same, only responsibilities are different. Their study skills are what the majority of the expectations are limited to. No matter the expectation they are forced to meet eyes of approval.

Three seniors and two freshmen, Bridgette Stone, Mark Calhoun Chelsea Thompson, Jacob Hill and Dakota Eliason, were all more than willing to share their studying habits.

For freshmen, not only is the expectation bar being raised, but the difficulty and amount of homework takes a huge jump in numbers for the new high school students. Both Hill and Eliason agreed that the adaptation from middle school to high school is not easy. The expectations are much higher and they are required to study.

“I actually study and take notes now” Hill said.

In middle school you are not expected to do much work, and very rarely have homework, whereas in high school, homework and studying becomes a ritual activity. Your expectations of yourself may even change.

“I expected a lot from myself entering high school” Eliason said. The classes that most freshmen study for are biology and algebra.

For four years now, the seniors have been getting ready for this year, and preparing for their departure onto a bigger school, as well as more opportunities. They have gotten used to the expectation from the teachers, the parents as well as friends. Friends take a big part in school; they can keep you sane, yet they can help you go crazy; they can help you get good grades as well as help distract you from what you need to get done.

These seniors have learned how to deal with it all, which is why the underclassmen as well as middle school students look up to them. The majority of the seniors are studying for Chemistry II, calculus, as well a co-op classes. They study as much as possible from prior experience of knowing what is needed and how much for what classes.
“I study every night, it doesn’t matter what, I am always studying something” Thompson said.

Do not get it wrong though – not every student studies as much as others. Some students don’t even need to study.

While there are similarities in expectations, these five students have also said some similarities in ways of studying. All calculus students have the opportunity of going to “Calc Parties” where groups of students study for upcoming quizzes and tests. Flash cards are also a big part in studying. The families all are willing to help, but find it very difficult to assist their children. The curriculum is extremely different from when they were all in school.

“If I ask my family to help, they will, for example flash cards, they always press me to do my best when studying” Stone said.
Most students find that studying pays off; for Calhoun, however, it is different.

“No, it doesn’t always pay off for me,” Calhoun said.

Whether it be for a small quiz or a class final, students all have similar expectations of themselves and from teachers. No matter the grade, studying is something that is always necessary. Brilliance goes a long way, but it takes hard work to get places in life, which is what every one of these five students is headed for.

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