San Dieguito Academy Newspaper
Courtesy of The View from Bend. Students happy at the prospect of leaving school earlier

Courtesy of The View from Bend. Students happy at the prospect of leaving school earlier

Opinion: Take a free fourth period, not a free first

When selecting your courses, keep in mind the benefit of a free fourth period.

January 27, 2022

Every spring, when class selection begins, students ponder the idea of having a free period. They can choose to have a free fourth period or a free first period. The ever-present question is: which is better? A free first period sounds ideal: sleeping in late, grabbing coffee on the way to school, and avoiding the morning traffic that plagues Santa Fe Rd. However, the utopian idea of school starting at 9:30 AM doesn’t always follow through on its promise of greatness. 

As most people associated with San Dieguito Academy know, parking, even at a normal hour, is tedious and difficult. This issue is multiplied when students with a free first period roll up to school, awake and ready, and cannot find a single parking spot. These students end up becoming very familiar with parallel parking. Also, school starting later sounds like a great way to give students more time to sleep, but not when the late start is used as an excuse for a late bedtime. Some students truly reap the benefits of the free first, using it as study time or sleep time efficiently. 

In discussing free periods, we cannot forget about the iconic free fourth. With a free fourth period, students get to leave every day no later than 1:30. This extra hour and a half is vital for so many students, for so many different reasons. Some students use their free fourth period to surf or skateboard, and some students use it to go to work or complete schoolwork! With a free fourth period, students can do a much wider range of activities in comparison to a free first period. Students who have a free fourth period no longer have to think about school until the third period ends, and they have the entire afternoon to extend their activities into. In contrast, with a free first period, students must come to school at a certain time and only have a small slot of time in the mornings to use for activities. 

In conclusion, I believe that if you are going to take a free period, you should take a free fourth period. The benefits of open afternoons and more time in the sunshine after school greatly outweigh a potential extra hour of sleep. Also, dealing with the chaos of scrambling to parallel park on Nardo is a stressful situation no one should be enduring by choice. This spring, when you select your courses, remember my warning and instead check that box for a free fourth!

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Ruthie Bell, Features Editor

you guys i’m actually in a really good mood today

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