VIEW FROM (ALMOST) THE TOP: Alden Presents

Alden 17As I sit writing this, my leg won’t stop shaking because I’ve had so much coffee, and it can only mean one thing: AP season is upon us. Some might think that at least we have summer to look forward to, but those people aren’t taking the ACT in June, or writing college essays to get a “jump start” on the process. You know the feeling: a distinct loss of happiness and energy as you stare at your computer screen, trying to eke out another page of completely made up and nonsensical analysis at eleven p.m. the night before your essay is due. It’s a weird mixture of wishing you could just sleep, wanting to run away from all your responsibilities and knowing you need to stop leaving things till the last minute.
Don’t you remember when you were little and loved going to school? When you would excitedly explain to your parents all about multiplication and recess when you got home? I used to read all night until my nine p.m. bedtime, after I finished my one math worksheet, which was my only homework assignment. Now I’m lucky if I’m halfway done with all my work by nine p.m. I would do things I liked to do. I would go outside and run around. For fun.
I feel like now I approach school with the same attitude as someone going to the dentist: I don’t really want to sit with my mouth agape while someone sticks dangerous-looking metal instruments in my mouth and asks me questions, as if I have the ability to unhinge my jaw and answer while they poke at my gums. APs are essentially like someone forcing you to keep your mouth open really wide while you try to not choke on your own saliva because you can’t close your mouth to swallow. School and getting your teeth cleaned are similar: I know I should go to the dentist because sitting through the one uncomfortable hour is worth having healthy teeth when I’m 75-years-old, but while I’m sitting in the waiting room, flipping through another boring magazine full of ads for medications with seemingly thousands of side effects, I really don’t want to. This is exactly how I convince myself to get through May: I tell myself it’ll be worth it later.
You’ll be sitting during your free period just as I am now exactly a year from now, and you’ll barely remember what it felt like to sit through a three-hour exam or fall asleep reading Princeton Review. One day, you’ll be (almost) at the top, and the horror of the month of May will seem so insignificant. You’ll just be really happy you kept up with your oral hygiene.