Entertainment Magazine Volume 70, Issue 7

2021 Spring Season: COVID and Break, AP Testing, and Mental Health

By Brennan Dumesnil-Vickers

We are approaching our second spring break during the times of COVID. This year, we know more about the virus and how to avoid it. And with widespread vaccines and testing, there’s more room for travel. That’s not to say everything is on the table, however. Many people have had to cancel plans, like sophomore Ashton Cartwright, who said, “I have plans to go to Maui in spring break, but from Maui we were supposed to go to Honolulu but we couldn’t because we would’ve had to quarantine for 10 days.” There are also people whose travel plans aren’t affected, like sophomore Amitoj Wadhwa, who said, “We usually don’t really go anywhere for spring break, so COVID didn’t really change anything too significant, but now it has eradicated even the slight chance that we would go anywhere.”

Spring also means we’re approaching AP testing season, which certainly looks different this year compared to years past. Some AP classes will have their tests in person, and others will have them online. The in-person tests will take place from May 3 until May 17 for the AP Physics C, Calculus AB & BC, Human Geography, Physics 1, Japanese, Chemistry, Physics 2, French, World History, Spanish, English Language, Music Theory, Microeconomics, Biology, Environmental Science, Comparative Government and Statistics classes. The online tests will take place on May 18-20 and consist of AP English Literature, Computer Science, European History, Macroeconomics, US History, US Government and Psychology. 

Testing season is a stressful time, and doing it during a pandemic is no joke. It’s also no secret that being cooped up with limited activities available has taken a mental toll on many. In a Q&A on COVID-19, Dr. Elizabeth Reichert of Stanford provided some tips on managing anxiety and depression during a pandemic: she advised keeping routines as much as possible, engaging in self-care, taking breaks from the news, separating workspace from living space, staying connected with friends and family, staying in the present, being patient and engaging in meaningful activities. For further advice on self-care, the CDC recommends taking deep breaths; stretching; meditating; eating healthy and well-balanced meals; exercising regularly; getting a good amount of sleep – high school students should be getting 8-10 hours per night; avoiding excessive alcohol, tobacco, or substance use and continuing to keep up with your physical health (i.e., staying up to date on vaccines and checkups). It’s also important to check in with others and help with their stress and mental health.