Brain Drain

By Michelle Lin (’23) and Ankita Biswas (’23)

The sun peeks out from the horizon and the grade 10s are already sipping their first cup of coffee from 10th Avenue. There are many commitments to attend to—swimming, basketball, and choir—but most people are still panicking about the assignments they worked on yesterday night. “Have you prepared for the math quiz yet? What about the homework for English, and the project for socials?” The response is usually “No, I have three tests tomorrow, four quizzes the next day and two essays on Friday. Does it look like I have time to do all of that?” What happened to “I have no to-dos on Wolfnet!” None of us expected the transition from grade 9 to grade 10 to be this strenuous. In the washrooms, the locker rooms, even in classrooms, one can easily catch sight of a grade 10 crying. How should we manage the pressure and stress? Is crying, complaining, and pushing through it the only solution? 

Covid-19 has unquestionably brought challenges upon the new grade 10s. Without the ability to socialize like we used to, many of us feel disconnected from everyone around us. We’ve been told to stay off our phones, but it’s been pretty hard to communicate without technology. It’s not easy to hear each other through masks while being six feet apart. When we can’t see each others’ facial expressions, having a conversation loses meaning. It’s just small talk at this point.

As affectionate people, it’s tough seeing our friends so upset and not being able to hug them or give them other forms of physical support. We’re just really used to being close, through the good and the bad. What are we supposed to do now? 

We’ve been told by older grades that Grade 10 is the easy year, but we haven’t found much evidence to back this claim. Sure, we get to go off campus, but half of us have been cramming at lunch every single day. The never-ending tests and homework are not going to complete themselves. Since we constantly have so many classes and work to get to, nothing really sinks in. What we learn in class oftentimes goes in one ear and right out the other. 

This year, time management and work habits have become extremely crucial. If we are not on top of our game and slack off during the week, one episode of a Netflix show is enough to throw us miles behind. Procrastination happens all the time, and despite the abundance of advice we have received, it’s still difficult for us to leave our leisure activities behind to do homework. 

It feels like we’re working so hard for such little profit. We easily slip into good spirits  when we partake in more leisurely activities, but really, what do we get out of homework? Are you really that excited when you finish your homework at two in the morning when it’s pitch black outside? What, are you super excited to get four hours of sleep? School can feel like a burden on sleep-deprived days, and those happen more often than they should. 

Sometimes, we hear from the adults that we’ll be happier in the future, that all our hard work will reap an abundance of rewards. Though this may be true for many, we often think to ourselves, would we really be happy with our dream careers? What about our dream universities? All of these open-ended questions inevitably lead to the big questions of what our purpose is in life, and how our schooling will help us reach our goals. As expected, all of us desperately seek these answers, but none of us have come close to finding them. 

To the grades above us, feel free to laugh or sympathize since you’ve gone through this already. To the grades below, we hope that it’s easier for you. To be honest, it might just be our grade. The class of 2023 has always been a peculiar bunch, possibly the “black sheep” grade of Dub-peeg. 

Let us know, is Grade 10 supposed to be this hard? Or is it just us?

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