My insane homework load taught me how to game the system

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A year and a half ago, I was fully immersed in the routine of being a high-school junior. On an average night, my Internet tabs looked something like this: page 2 of a desperate Google search on “Differential equations easy examples,” a vocabulary list on, a couple Wikipedia articles, my school newspaper, email, Twitter, a YouTube video, and a Yahoo! Answers session called “What is the easiest SAT subject test if you are bad at math?”

I would operate these worlds simultaneously, studying for biology exams amidst vocab review, responding to emails from my school’s newspaper editors while working on research papers. I would study and do my homework in a frenzied focus, switching from subject to subject in an attempt to maximize my efficiency.

These were my weeknights from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. I attended a private college-preparatory high school in Seattle, where I was involved in cross-country, debate, the school newspaper, and mock trial. I studied for the SATs. I tutored a middle school student twice a week. I worked hard, I loved school, and I was always stressed.

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