Could the Timing Be Any Worse?

Dances planned in conjunction with exam dates deter students from attending

The new school year is finally here! And although there’s still those optimistic bunch of students who seem to deny that school has started altogether, there are a number of us who have already surrendered to the weight of school pressures. As a junior, I can already envision what the year has in store—a never-ending chain of exams: SATs, ACTs, AP exams, and semester finals. (Aren’t we all just thrilled!) But, given the amount of work ahead, it’s important that we find some way to compensate for the stress.  And what better way to do this than to go to a school dance, right? WRONG. It just so happens that a number of the school dances fall the day before the SAT and ACT dates.

When we go to a dance, our main objective is to have fun—the concept is really that simple. However, when students know that they will be taking an SAT/ACT the morning after the dance, they are discouraged from buying a ticket in the first place.

When students come to a situation like this, they generally have two options. One, they can decide to attend the dance and then later feel guilty about not studying for the exam. Or, two, they can opt out and then later sulk about how their social life has been down in the dirt lately. There seems to be no right choice.

Take the Hello Dance, for instance. Many juniors and seniors who were hoping to attend the first dance of the year opted out once they found out that the ACTs were the next day, missing out entirely on a fun, school experience. Similarly, in the past years, the Homecoming dance and Winter Ball have both been continuously planned in conjunction with the SATs, creating a constraint for those who wished to go. If the dance was planned a few days earlier or after the SAT, more people would be inclined to attend it.

Dances are, after all, well-earned rewards. So why not be slightly more accommodative and make it possible for more students to attend? A little more planning can go a long way.