Samiya Young, a junior whose day to day consists of work and more work. She starts her day by getting ready, driving herself to school, and making sure she gets to her second block on time. Since her first block is AP Psychology, which is a self-paced class, she uses her first block to get some extra sleep that she may miss from the work that she stays up to do and make sure she gets done.
Not only is Samiya in AP Psych, she also takes AP calculus AB. AP classes can be grueling, but she joined them for a reason.
“Well, because I wanted to raise my GPA, I wanted to have a class where it was easy for me to, like, rise in the rankings of the class of 2024, it’ll look good on my resume, and I also genuinely just wanted a challenge. I’ve been through a lot of classes throughout my entire life as we all have, and I’ve never been put in a position where I genuinely did not know, where I was like, ‘Oh snap, I don’t understand,’ So I simply was curious to be like, ‘Okay AP classes are the hardest thing I can take right now so I’m curious if”ll genuinely be stuck.’”
While Samiya does AP classes at school, when she gets home she has more classes that she has to do. She has college classes at Tidewater Community College (TCC) that she has to attend. While most of the time they stay as virtual classes, sometimes she has to go on campus for Biology labs. With all of this going on, staying motivated can be a difficult challenge, but she has a goal for her future.
“Well, my end goal is to live a comfortable life, that's the only reason I'm doing a lot of the things I'm doing right now. To get through school, getting an education, taking those hard classes, getting good grades, is all in an effort to get to a good college, to get a good job, to get to a point where I can live life in the way that I would like to.”
Having all of this on her back to get to the life she wants, it's strenuous to balance these classes with her extracurricular activity and time for herself.
“I mean… At times yes, like just yesterday I had to forgo taking my AP practice exam because I had to turn in some TCC assignments that were due yesterday. Overall, it’s really not that bad because I’m pretty good with time management. The only issue is when I have to add other things like practice for the SAT or especially robotics took a lot of my time so just all the classes and college classes together weren’t bad but adding on every other thing I had as well made it a lot worse.”
Knowing all that she’s doing daily, sacrifices free time and time to herself are made, she practically has none. “No. [Laughs] I don’t. I spend time on my phone or just doing other things except for work like an hour a day. Tops.”
Only an hour a day of free time seems so stressful and overwhelming. Her future isn't the only reason she is taking on all of these classes and extracurricular activities.
“I mean I always love to learn, it's like one of the things I feel as though are the more funner parts of life are learning new things, being able to understand yourself and the world around you better. But honestly y’know artists, they like drawing until they’re forced to do it, there is an aspect to that, but I feel like just intrinsically for me, learning is so fun that even if it’s in a stressful situation like this I still find joy in it.”
Samiya's loss of time is the most challenging aspect of her work.
“Studying, doing work, staying committed to finishing what I started I haven’t had time to myself; I haven’t been able to pursue my hobbies, I haven’t been able to developed myself as a person because I’ve been taking so much time for work um and definitely just that balance, kinda unhealthy work-life y'know work-play balance as well had definitely taken a toll on me mentally um I’ve been putting in effort to fix that but at the end of the day if something’s due something’s due y'know? So I think that the thing about this whole situation that I regret the most is the time loss.”
What helps Samiya keep as much of a balance as she can get is by keeping a schedule she sticks by, if something is due that night then she knows that she just has to get it done. She tells herself what she’s going to do one day and what she’ll do the next. She splits it up and breaks it apart to make sure she meets that one small quota she sets for herself per day for each different assignment.
For a junior in high school, Samiya’s day can be arguably longer and more exhausting than some adult jobs. Having to go to high school, stay after longer than the normal school hours for her extracurriculars, and then when she finally gets home she has more work that has to be done for her college classes, only having one hour at max to just relax after doing so much in one day for a seventeen year old.