The Final Push: The BCA Countdown Begins


Hannah Shin

It’s almost hard to believe that the school year is already coming to an end. With less than a month of school remaining,  BCA students are eagerly counting down towards the end of the school year as finals week and the end of Trimester 3 approaches.

For some, it seemed like yesterday when school was starting. “I still remember the first two weeks of school. [The end of the school year] seems kind of far away, but definitely, the year passed fast,” said Serena Liang, a freshman in AMST. 

Others have been more precise in their countdowns. “Considering it’s 180 days,” said one sophomore in AMST, “I feel like it’s closer to the end, and I know a bunch of sophomores are keeping track of the days – I think there’s 32 [school] days left. It genuinely feels like it went by really quickly and that the year is over.”

Though this school year seems to have passed by quickly, it has certainly brought its own unique challenges in the beginning of the year. Not only has the Freshman Class of 2025 encountered difficult transitions to BCA, but the Sophomore Class of 2024 has also shared its struggles. 

Sophomores, who spent the majority of their freshman year virtually, were hit with a major transition back to in-person school this year – some of them being on campus for the very first time. “This was almost like our freshman year, walking around the school, our first time experiencing everything,” said one sophomore.

Alice Peng, a sophomore in ATCS, also had something to add. “In person, the longer school hours were definitely something that took a while to get used to, as well as being productive.” The long school hours that Alice mentioned were a common transitional challenge brought up by other students. In addition, the travel time and the extensive workload of BCA were additional facets that BCA students had to get used to, especially coming from a virtual school environment and switching to a regular school setting this year.

Despite the difficult transition for many students this year, many students shared that the school year has brought them many fulfilling experiences. “I definitely think being in person, there is a greater support system here and it’s easier to focus in person than virtually, at least for me,” Alice said. “I’m really happy that I got to come back; I’d rather not go back to virtual [school]. And I got to meet a lot of great people.” 

After the difficult initial transition, the school year seemed to pass quickly. With about 7 weeks of school left, many students were still shocked to hear that the week of May 9th to May 13th marked the last full week of the school year. After hearing this, Eylul Oktay, a freshman in ATCS, said, “I feel like [the end of the school year] is very near. A big portion of the year has passed already, so it’s the home stretch.”

But are BCA students really in the home stretch? When asked what obstacles were left before the school year ended, many students’ faces filled with worry as they described their finals. “I have a bio final. It’s 35 questions…it’s like an AP test, but not for AP credit,” said Serena, as she described the notoriously difficult end-of-year biology exam for AMST students.

“I have to say,” added Alice, “trimester finals in-person – I don’t know how, but they’re even more stressful than virtually, because in class I think about them.” Other sophomores have mentioned that finals last year felt easier in a virtual school setting due to their easy access to helpful online resources and a comfortable home environment – which has left them in an unexpected state for finals this year.

And yet, despite finals looming over BCA students, many students have agreed that trimester 2, over trimester 3, was the hardest. But understandably so – the cold weather, shorter days, and continuous routine with no clear end in sight were mentally difficult. “[Trimester 2 is] in the middle: it’s not the beginning or the end,” said Serena. “We’ve already gotten into the work ethic and there’s no relaxing.” 

Eylul had a similar point of view. “Trimester 2 – it was the middle of the year. You’re kind of used to it, but you’re not used to it.”

Though some wouldn’t call the beginning of May the home stretch, all BCA students have completed trimester 2, which was arguably the hardest part of the school year. In fact, many sophomores and juniors are already looking ahead to next year. Sophomores are currently undergoing Sophomore Intake with their counselors and selecting their junior courses, while juniors are starting the tedious and  difficult college application process in the summertime.

 “I know that, looking at my Schoology calendar and planning for the future, there are a lot of exams, but also a lot of the talk about selecting classes for next year, like AP and IB classes,” Alice said, “and I feel like everyone has been talking about it a lot, among students…So I feel like there is a lot of pressure.”

Whether students are thinking about the near or far future, one thing is certain: students are counting down the days until school ends. Eylul described countdowns as “motivation. It’s like, there’s just this much time left, so just do as best as you can and then you can relax.”

Countdowns, big or small, can be a useful tool in motivating students to their goals. And as BCA students ‘pedal to the medal’, the passing of time may just be the most comforting motivation to push on towards the end.