April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

-       T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time [...]

-       Shakespeare, Macbeth

1.) We all go through cycles every year, but students are aware of them more than most: the changing seasons, the changing holidays, the changing weeks... The younger you are, the longer the years seem: think about it.

Take your age, and picture it as a pie chart. Let’s say you’re 35: in 2017, you’re experiencing 1/36th of your entire lifetime. (Yes, 1/36th-- when you were born and approaching your first birthday you were experiencing a year as well!)

Now picture the “pie chart” of someone that is 15-- experiencing their 16th year-- and compare the two charts.

The “slices” of each year that compose the totality of the 15-year-old’s experience are MUCH larger than our hypothetical 35-year-old. Interesting, no?

2.) Consider your memories of December as a kid, counting down to whatever holiday it was your family celebrated-- didn’t it seem like years before it came to pass? The same dilation of time is experienced by children and teens the world over. The younger someone is, the slower the passage of time is perceived. An hour to a child seems like mere minutes to us; it is no coincidence children often ask “are we there yet?” when in the car for a long ride.

3.) Third quarter-- the beginning of second semester--that absolute low point after major holidays and before warm weather-- is crazy boring. There’s very little to look forward to, and very little to punctuate the school cycle with. So what’s a bored student to do?


That is, nothing but confront the possibility that their grades may slip. Even the most studious of students might find their resolve growing weaker, and it’s for them that this article is being written. (Sorry, parents-- there’s no good knowledge here for you!)

4.) Students, remember your purpose. While it may feel like each day drags on for an eternity, I promise you that you’re on the right path. You’ve fought your way through first semester, and are staring down summer at a distance that’s closer than you can imagine: don’t relax just yet.

There’s more work to be done, and if you can kick the same (or greater) butt you kicked during first semester, you’ll be on the fast track to killer grades that will pave a smooth road to a great college experience.

Each day is a brick, each week is a layer, and I promise you that your conscious construction of a foundation of knowledge will benefit you immeasurably in the “long run,” as tough as it is to see now.

5.) REMEMBER your purpose, BELIEVE in your power, and ASK your teachers for any pieces of knowledge you don’t quite grasp-- if you can make it through the total desert that is the third quarter, you can make it through anything.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email us at:

The only bad questions are those that go unasked!

Here to help,

--Coastal College Counseling