A Change in Lifestyle, COVID-19 (Pt. 3)

BY: CLAIRE KIM

Week 9: Currently, AP FRQs and stimulus-based questions have consumed my entire life. My first two AP exams are next week and, quite honestly, I’m somewhat nervous. Though the tests are shorter and less dense in material, the whole submission process and the idea of pursuing the test alone are intimidating to consider. In general, this online format is a burden for many who struggle or have had limited use with technology, making digital equity in terms of testing a problem. I understand that the circumstances of COVID-19 are preventing students from completing tests in a well-facilitated environment; however, I don’t necessarily agree that an online format of the exam is the best method as well. This shift to digital platforms for education is innovative, yet still lacking when it comes to in-classroom assignments like tests and AP exams. As a student who has relied on in-classroom environments for school success, this whole “digital classroom” format is, quite frankly, awkward and uncomfortable. Everything just feels so out of place.

Week 10: Well, well. Week 1 of AP exams are done, and to the say least, it was rough. I had my first AP exam on Tuesday, AP Calculus AB, and the worst part of the test was the submission process. While the overload of questions was overwhelming, more than anything, the lagging of the computer and slow traffic of the wifi made the submission process both stressful and exhausting. Though I was able to submit my exam on time, over thousands of thousands of students were unable to do so, which caused some severe backlash on the CollegeBoard for their inadequate testing format. Around me, I already know about four students who failed to submit their tests on time because of their computer systems. It was hard to see my friends so stressed about an exam that didn’t upload, knowing that it wasn’t even their fault. I mentioned this last week, but I’m going to reiterate my point again. Relying on an online-based platform for these critical exams is not the best method for equitable testing. Especially for students who don’t live in wifi-privileged areas, this online format is neither fair nor reasonable in providing them a space to show their intellectual potential.

Week 11: Finally, AP exams are done! This past week, I finished my last two exams, AP World History and, today, AP Spanish Language and Culture, which both went smoother than last week. However, despite the greater ease in the process this week, I have to admit that my mental health is pretty unstable due to the accumulation of stress and anxiety these past two weeks have provided. I’ve never felt so desperate; so pressed on time; and so anxious for my future.

Week 12: I forgot to mention this last week, but junior year has ended! Wow, what a year. With stress from just being a junior to the unexpected crisis of the coronavirus, I have to say that this year has been one of the worst, yet most lifechanging years of my life. I’ve never been so challenged to be independent, persistent, and forward-thinking before this school year. To keep my feelings concise, I am truly thankful for all the people who have stood beside me both during my highs and my lows. It always feels nice to know that someone is there for me when I am struggling alone. I’m especially thankful for my parents, who have cooperated with me during these past few months with the coronavirus, as the transition was definitely not easy for all of us at first.

Now with summer on the roll, I hope the summer heat can make even the slightest difference in the surge of the coronavirus.

Hopefully, the spreading will start to slow down, but with my understanding of white privilege, it seems like ignorance might prevail to the desire for good health. I have seen too many white girls ignore the CDC guidelines, taking their impatience with the COVID-19 situation to the beach with their friends. As a fellow Gen Z, I am truly ashamed.

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