My mom tells me she used to have classes like “Wood Shop”, where you could make cutouts of wood things you will never use, and Cooking where you learned the basics of stoves. Language classes used to be an option, not a requirement. Then there was the Music Appreciation class where you could close your eyes while “appreciating” opera and the teacher, whose eyes were also closed, would never know you had drifted to sleep.

Well, you may or may not have realized it, but school is harder lately. You may have once had “that easy class”, you know the one where you got to tune out for just a minute while you looked out the window, or wonder if there are French fries on the menu for lunch today. But lately there are no easy classes. Homework is harder and takes longer than it used to. You may have been able to finish homework in 20 minutes, now you have to devote hours, if you’re lucky. The fact is that school is getting harder, and it is worth the extra work.

Currently I am a sophomore in high school and these are the make or break years. These grades will decide my college and future decisions. Doing well is not an option, it is a must. A good college will look for excellent grades, extracurricular activities, and good writing skills on applications. A college degree these days is like gold, and you can’t go very far without one. So really, the easy classes don’t exist anymore because they do not prepare you for the real world.

I am not a teacher, but I urge you to work hard in school and save your fun for the weekends. Do your homework early so your parents don’t yell at you. And never mind the easy classes – leave them in the past, because we both know we are living in the future.