The Inconvenience of Junior Work Duty

During their time at Choate, all students are required to do at least one term of aide. Most third formers at Choate take part in dining hall duty for one period each week. During these times, students are asked to help out the dining hall staff by cleaning tables and dishes. Although generally an inconvenience in a student’s schedule, this form of work teaches new students to learn humility and appreciation.

Generally, freshmen at Choate have a lot more mobility in their schedule, allowing them to do dining hall duty without it affecting their academic work. However, freshmen are not the only students who are required to participate in aide. A significant amount of juniors are required to do library aide, lost and found aide, or PMAC aide for one period each week. This brings unnecessary stress to the already stressful lives of many juniors. Instead of being able to study for a test or complete a homework assignment during a free block, many fifth formers have to stack and organize books or collect items around campus that people have lost.

The new change of schedule, which extends blocks from 45 minutes to 70 minutes, makes being an aide even more time-consuming. Many students realize that participating in these various forms of aide help out staff and faculty members at Choate. But by having to do aide for one period a week, many juniors’ academic lives are made more difficult. In a time in which juniors are being asked to balance a rigorous academic life with a strenuous social life, an extra 70 minutes each week to get work done would go a long way.

Some may argue that students would not do work that 70-minute block anyways. But in reality, even if students do not do work during their extra free time, using that block to relax and rest could go a long way in helping a student’s mental health. This is not to say that library aide and lost and found aide should vanish entirely from Choate. Instead, the Choate Administration should have junior aide moved to sophomore year. Fourth formers do lead a stressful life, but they are not yet plagued with preparing for the college application process, including the need to study for standardized testing. By moving aide duties to sophomore year, juniors will be relieved of that extra stress while faculty and staff will still be assisted.

Being a Choate student consumes time, and we knew that when we decided to attend Choate. While at Choate, we must maintain good grades, sustain relationships with friends, and participate in extracurricular activities. The more time spent at Choate, the harder each student’s social and academic lives get. Eliminating work duty from the schedules of hardworking and stressed-out juniors will not only reduce stress in their lives, but it will also lighten the burden of their academic, social, and extracurricular lives.

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