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Can I get 5 more minutes ?

Can I get 5 more minutes ?
Morgan Payne ’24

As many are aware, the year for the class of 2024 is coming to an end quicker than expected. Yes, most seniors are jumping for joy and freedom because they get to graduate early. What I know is that this decision was directed by the district to ensure that students have credits and other priorities straightened out before graduation. Anytime that there is a possibility to get out of this place faster, I know the teenagers in this school are willing to take the opportunity.

Originally, my friends didn’t care what the email that went out to families said. We started thinking about how this was too good to be true. With the earlier end of classes, we can enjoy the peaceful warm neighborhood without underclassmen or spend more time with family, as some of us are leaving for new environments in the upcoming fall. A one-month difference can change things, especially for seniors. With pressure from parents, school, housing, community organizations and programs that we might be a part of, I instantly think about all the programs that I have to get ready for, such as “last” ceremonies as seniors because I won’t be back in the fall.

Even though I couldn’t stop thinking about the good life I would have in the next few months thanks to the new date, bad ones also crossed my mind. Now that the schedule is moved up, so will the workload and people’s brains. For some kids that suffer from anxiety or ADHD like myself, it is hard to process change when you already have a definite action in place, which can cause some nervousness and anxiety about the accelerated graduation schedule.

Of course, students all already have to graduate from South, but at their own pace. It is not just the senior exams being earlier that may be overwhelming and can cause severe anxiety for kids; there is less time to complete units before those finals, and students will likely have private meetings with our counselors that we will probably never see again. This is what teachers, parents, the school district and counselors don’t think about. People probably think “Seniors wouldn’t care if they graduated right now,” but they do. People don’t see the droopy eyes from the unrestful night before the “moved up” senior exams, or that student who has to pop anxiety medication at lunch secretly because the stress and tension are building up while time is running out.

Additionally, I am not just concerned about the move-up date of graduation, I am concerned about the moving-up process of my life. As someone who already has a plan for what they want to achieve in their life, it is also scary for me that in a few months, I will have to pack my bags and get out of this city. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to go to D.C. and begin a new chapter of my life; however, my parents, sister, grandma and the rest of my family live in the same place that I must leave. The more time that I spend with the people that I love, the less and less I would want to leave them. This change can make me mentally and emotionally unprepared. Did the school district think about that?

This is where we get into student preference: the forbidden action that the school system loves to avoid. I remember when two representatives came to the South and discussed what they could do better to make the South more comfortable. I recall how important I felt and how I was able to voice my opinion and be heard by everyone else in the auditorium. That perspective gave me the impression that they will have more interaction with the students for future decisions. However, the new graduation date decision shows that my hopes were unfulfilled. Yes, I do know that they couldn’t use much of the student opinion, but it would be nice to know that the district knows the strengths and the weaknesses of this judgment, while also being inclined to want to know how the students who are impacted feel upon this action.

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About the Contributor
Morgan Payne ’24
Morgan Payne ’24, Multimedia Manager
Regarding hard work, seconnd-year staffer and Multimedia Manager Morgan Payne ’24 is driven by the word. From working multiple jobs to writing for two newspapers, Payne is diligent, dedicated and disciplined. “I work a lot, I have multiple different jobs, including the Tower which is a big job itself,” Payne said. “If I’m not at school, I’m probably at one organization or being a waiter at Antonio’s in Grosse Pointe Park.” Payne said she loves journalism, not just because her friends are in there because she loves to write. “Journalism has a special meaning to me because its a form of communication,” Payne said. “I’m a big talker and I love to inform, so journalism is right up my alley and is something I am going into for my career.” Outside of Tower, Payne said she likes to write short stories and is a part of different organiztions that empower young women. Payne said she can’t wait for a new year of the Tower and hopes other people will join too. “I would suggest anybody who loves to write, get along with people, get involved with your community to join The Tower,” Payne said. “The Tower has been such a great outlet for me to express myself, so join The Tower if you want that.”

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