Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

A day in the life of an AP student


6:30 a.m.: Your alarm clock goes off.

7:30 a.m.: You have no memory of throwing the clock, but you have to trust that you did because it’s lying in pieces on the other side of the room.

7:45 a.m.: You brush your teeth with Khan Academy-approved toothpaste and throw some KD College Prep pencils in your College Board brand backpack. While you dress in the dark, you frantically try to prepare for today’s Calculus test. You run through the derivatives of sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, until you have a big juicy brain fart and forget what numbers are.

8:00 a.m.: In your dad’s car, you realize that the bag of Cheez-It crisps in your backpack won’t be enough to tide you over until lunch. But with a sigh of relief, you remember that you still have the bag of peppermints that you bought from Walmart because a testing guru on YouTube guaranteed that they eased anxiety. You eat fourteen.

8:05 a.m.: You rush into school, late for three different club meetings. You run from meeting room to meeting room, stuffing the syllabi into a falling-apart unicorn patterned folder. You congest your planner with volunteer hours and food drives because having free time makes you nervous.

8:20 a.m.: In first period AP Chemistry, you’re too mentally exhausted to actually pay attention to the lecture, so you give yourself some grace. You spend the period reading people’s hot political takes on your phone instead and promise yourself that you’ll watch the lecture at 2x speed later.

9:52 a.m.: The group quiz in second period AP Humanities evokes so much stress for no real reason. The second the paper is handed out, the smartest kids in your grade turn into dictionary-checking basket cases who go off the deep end because they don’t recognize the word “asyndeton”. Despite your best efforts, your group ends up missing one question, which you all blame on the smartest kid at the table.

11:17 a.m.: In Marauder Time, you take a career-matching quiz, and to your horror, the only career that you’re compatible with is creative freelance writing. You spend Marauder Time retaking the quiz until the top of the page reads “neurosurgeon” and send the screenshot to your parents.

11:45 a.m.: It’s lunchtime! You and your friends share weekend plans and realize that this Saturday is the first one all year when everyone is free. You feel like you should do something together over the weekend, but realize that you’ve all gone so long without a free Saturday that you’ve forgotten what you actually like to do outside of school. With some shame, everybody pulls out their phones and Googles, “What do teenagers do for fun?”

12:15 p.m.: The bell rings for third period, and your lunch table gathers around to talk you up before the Calculus test. When one of your friends casually quips, “Calculus sounds awful. I’m so glad I took AP Stats instead,” you hide your fury with laughter. Your pride won’t let you admit that you’re only jealous because you wish you’d thought of doing Statistics instead of Calculus earlier, so you tell yourself that AP Stats kids are cowards. Easy-math-course-taking, grade-multiplier-exploiting cowards.

12:20 p.m.: Question one on the Calculus test has so much trigonometry packed into it that it looks like a foreign language. Dread sinks into your stomach as you skip the entire first page.

2:00 p.m.: The bell rings and the test is over. Scores are uploaded immediately to Canvas, but you decide to check yours at home because you want the time and space to emotionally process it.

2:07 p.m.: In fourth period Spanish, you can’t handle the suspense anymore: you open your test score and are hit with a wave of crippling disappointment. The girl next to you is wiping away tears because of her A-minus, but when you tell her about the 45 you made, she exclaims, “That’s SO GOOD!” 

3:35 p.m.: After school, you skip a club meeting by texting the president that the Calculus test hurt your feelings and you would rather cry at home than at school. She took the test too, so she tells you to take all the time you need. A true bestie.

4:00 p.m.: When your father picks you up, he sees the utter disappointment in your dead, hollow eyes and takes you through the Taco Bell drive through — just what you needed. You order a bag of greasy steak chalupas and a neon lemonade that’s mostly water.

4:45 p.m.: At home, you attempt to read a chapter of “The Crucible” but are hopelessly lost. You annotate in your book about the characters’ motives and their significance to the plot. You ask the group chat questions about the motifs. When all else fails, you read the Sparknotes analysis twice, but by the end of it all, the only thing you’ve extracted is “mob mentality bad”. 

 6:30 p.m.: Your mother’s friend, whose son goes to the same test prep place as you, stops by “just to check in on the family”. You know, though, that she’s really just here to brag to your mom about how her son is peaking in high school: She brings up her son’s latest SAT score, and your mom casually mentions your last report card in retaliation. You find yourself kneeling by your bedroom door, listening in to the passive-aggressive “my honor student is smarter than yours” war to make sure that you’ve outdone Chad from test prep.

7:15 p.m.: By the time your mom’s friend leaves, it’s obvious that you have not outdone Chad from test prep. Not at all. Chad is starting nonprofits for third-world countries while you’re struggling to stay afloat in high school Chemistry. You have brought dishonor on your parents, your family, and your country. You eat twelve more peppermints and compare your resume to those of the kids in “How I got into Harvard” YouTube videos to salvage your broken pride.

8:00 p.m.: Your eleven year old brother barges into your room without knocking, twirling a fidget spinner with one hand and squishing a plastic baggie of slime with the other. He’s developed a superiority complex because he made all A’s in his sixth grade classes and you have an 89 in Calculus. He points out that you’re unemployed, you have acne issues, and — where it stings the most — you haven’t gotten your license yet. After thoroughly hurting your feelings, he leaves to continue playing Fortnite.

8:15 p.m.: You fuel your sense of importance by listening to indie music and doing test prep busywork. You run through SAT practice problems, of which you’ve done so many that they’re basically mindless. Your self-esteem rises with every perfect math section score.

9:15 p.m.: You FaceTime a friend for accountability and watch the chemistry lecture on not one, not two, but three times speed. You do the notes lickety split, easy peasy lemon squeezy, because your friend is tenth in the class and the pressure to impress her propels you.

10:30 p.m.: Your friend signs off to build wells in Africa, or write a bestselling novel, or whatever she does in her free time, so you double check with your other friends about the Spanish homework. Sure enough, there is a test tomorrow that you forgot to put in your planner.

11:00 p.m.: You text the girl you FaceTimed with earlier, begging for the gargantuan Spanish Quizlet she has been amassing since the first day of school. But she doesn’t reply because she somehow has a perfect sleep schedule and is already sound asleep. You leave her voicemails, each one more desperate than the last.

11:30 p.m.: You buckle down and make the Quizlet yourself. “I can’t afford to make another B in this class” adrenaline is pumping through your veins, and the k-pop hype playlist you made in eighth grade is on blast. You feel unstoppable.

1:00 a.m.: You fall asleep.

3:00 a.m.: The crunch of peppermint wrappers against your cheek jolts you awake. You drowsily dump the notebooks off your blankets, turn out the lights, and switch to your soft k-pop playlist. You set tomorrow’s alarm.

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About the Contributor
Muna Nnamani, Managing Editor
Muna Nnamani (she/her) is a senior and a third year staffer. She’s super excited for this year’s staff, because they’re all pretty decent people. Outside the paper, her one hobby is listening to the same three songs on repeat and thinking about her feelings. She gets five hours of sleep on a good night, but she’s still thriving.

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