More Free Periods

More Free Periods

Lily Freilich '25

Should underclassmen have more free periods? As a freshman, I strongly believe that we should. One might say, “No! Freshmen just came from four years of relaxation in middle school and need to learn how to keep up with the workload in high school.” But that is exactly it! We are new, fresh, and have never had the pressure of carrying large amounts of work. We need to be given opportunities to complete our work and receive the best grades to our capability, without staying up all night. It can be extremely overwhelming to endlessly move from class to class everyday. 

But what about sophomores? Sophomores are in a middleground between freshmen, who are new and coddled, and juniors, who are jammed with stress. Sophomores are relatively new to high school, and have tons of work. I am not a sophomore, but Alexander Ottensoser ‘24 is. After asking him if sophomores need more free periods, Ottensoser ‘24 replied that, “we have a lot of work and the long school days need to be broken up, so sophomores should definitely have extra periods.”

In addition to students having opinions on this topic, our very own Director of Guidance, Dr. Gerald Zeitchik says that, “it’s challenging to strike the right balance between providing an intensive, rigorous education, and giving kids a chance to relax, socialize, and break up the daily academic schedule. I do appreciate that planned free periods are a welcome break for students. Additionally, I recognize that all four grades rightfully want a break during the day. There really is so much to learn in school but I do understand that the long day is hard.”

Ultimately, there is no perfect answer – so why not at least try? Test the concept of adding free periods and learn from it. Both students and the school would really benefit from this flexibility.