Teen Voices: Being Present as the Future Unfolds
Spring has finally arrived and so has Decision Day and AP exam season. Needless to say, May is a big month for many teens, especially seniors.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Advanced Placement (AP) courses are high school classes that are taught at a college level. In May, these courses have standardized exams that determine if students can get college credit. Many students spend countless hours studying for these exams and can find them overwhelming.
While they do offer a way for students to make themselves stand out to a college and even get a jumpstart on college credits, they can also cause a lot of stress. It is important for teens to remember that relaxation and sleep are just as important as studying. Even taking a walk in the sunshine can help to relieve stress. Studying is beneficial only if it is done in moderation.
May is also a big month for seniors as they make their final decisions about post-graduation plans. May 1, Decision Day, is often seen with many students wearing college apparel. After late nights of submitting applications and days of checking the mail for decision notifications, we finally have a concrete plan of what is happening next year. This is also an exciting time for those who are planning to take a gap year, travel, join the armed service or dive right into working. Going to high school is a major part of being a teen, and these last few months are bittersweet as some aspects of childhood are ending and adulthood is beginning. Just as the flowers are blooming and nature is starting anew, so are we in many ways.
I think the most important thing to remember amongst exam stress and anticipation for the future is to enjoy the present moment; to take the time to enjoy the weather, spend time with friends, appreciate family and connect with your true self. Instead of rushing through these spring days, slow down and appreciate this part of the journey.
Hannah Adamson is a senior in high school. She practices meditation and takes ThetaHealing courses with Reshma Shah in Westfield, New Jersey. May 2019