These days, I have more homework than I know what to do with and, as college applications inch closer by the day, my stress has become something tangible in my throat. This is not unusual or unexpected. I am, after all, a junior in high school and I was told innumerable times before this year began that it was going to be a tough one.
While late-night essays, last-minute hallway study sessions, SAT prep books, and lists of the 380 best colleges in North America are certainly exhausting, the hardest part of this year, for me, has been the decrease in time available to work on my writing. I find myself finishing homework late at night nearly every night, and by the time I’ve finished it usually takes a serious effort to sit down and pump out a short story instead of crawling into bed and falling asleep. Now, obviously, it would be ridiculous for me to try to write a short story every night under any circumstances, but watching both my free time and writing time evaporate as junior year progresses is frustrating to say the least, especially since I am always aware that every story I write now is a building block for the greater, more complete work I will do later. I resent losing building block after building block to the stress and sleeplessness that this year has offered.
I do not know what the right answer is here. I have to do my homework. I have to think about college. I have to write. I suppose the only solution is to keep moving, keep working, and keep writing, even if I lose some sleep in the process.
Emma Bernstein, class of 2017