May Madness


Dylan Daniels, Staff Writer


As if the 2021-2022 school year has not been stressful enough, the end of April and beginning of May chaos has Harriton students completely swamped. Starting in September 2021, we went back to school 5 days a week, which was something that Harriton students had not experienced in over a year. Several months later, we experienced the largest COVID-19 surge yet, with the Omicron variant, and we were faced with a virtual school option again. 


Shortly following this, many students took their first real midterms, which are worth much larger amounts of points than typical assessments. Moving further into the year, seemingly out of nowhere, the mask mandate was suddenly lifted. To top off all of this chaos, this was the first real year of high school for not only the freshmen class, but the sophomore class as well. 


With the crazy amount of chaos we have all experienced this year, the upcoming couple of weeks may be the craziest yet. Disregarding the freshmen, the rest of the student body are under an extreme amount of stress. Let’s dive into what this next week looks like for many sophomores, most juniors, and virtually all seniors. 


The first event that marked the beginning of this chaotic period was Senior Prom, an event long-awaited by the senior class and hosted at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Prom has always been the biggest and one of the most important school events in most students’ high school careers. While the Prom itself was a great event for the seniors, most of them enjoy the time surrounding it even more. 


Getting dressed and ready with your best friends one last time is something that students wait for all year. Prom dresses are picked months in advance and promposals are planned even before. Following the dance, after-parties and hangouts are some of the most fun events for seniors. Friend groups tend to spend the night at the Jersey shore or up in the Poconos Mountains. Senior Prom is certainly an event that everyone finds some excitement in. The problem: many students are taking AP exams just days after prom. 


AP courses are taken primarily by juniors and seniors and the weeks prior are extremely stressful for all. AP exams are very rigorous and require extreme preparation. When students take 2, 3, 4, and even up to 5 or 6 AP classes, with tests all within a matter of days, they are overwhelmed and facing maximum stress levels. AP test scores are typically submitted to colleges and students dread taking these several hour tests with the pressure, especially with the knowledge that these scores may reflect on their futures. After a long and hard week of AP testing, a large chunk of these AP students are taking the May SAT. 


Similarly to AP tests, the SAT is a large deal for many students. Even more than AP tests, SAT scores are crucial to most colleges and universities. Most juniors and even some sophomores take this test, and this year, the May test is the weekend after AP exams. Most students began SAT preparation many months prior to testing, many even beginning the summer before. Having the SAT occur at this time of the year certainly makes this spring season especially difficult for juniors.


On top of all of this chaos, there are several other activities going on throughout the next week. Students in the IB program are required to take standardized tests for their IB courses and many of these students are also taking the SAT. Additionally, for all AP courses, teachers are giving finals prior to the official exams as the course content is being wrapped up. While there is no real way to change the chaos of this spring, these next couple of weeks are certainly a reminder of why we look forward to summer!