Opinion: Three takes on free periods


Credit: Chloe Zilembo

In the third installment of their series, “Three Takes On,” WSPN’s Jenny Shine, Chloe Zilembo and Ryan Chase discuss their opinions on free periods.

Ryan Chase, freshman:

Free periods are a great reward for keeping grades up at Wayland High School. Since attendance isn’t taken during free periods, some of us underclassmen feel that we should be allowed to have the same off-campus privileges that juniors and seniors do. However, while it is frustrating to not be able to leave campus during free periods, it’s important for us freshmen to have that free time to get our work done during school, especially because freshmen are just getting used to the heavy workload of high school. Using free periods to study is really beneficial as a freshman.

I think the problem with limiting underclassmen off-campus privileges is that it causes people to sneak around and try not to get caught breaking rules. This is especially true during sophomore year because that is when several students get their drivers licenses.

Since I will be a sophomore next year, I would like the open campus privileges to be extended to sophomores at the end of first semester. While it also would have been nice to have this year, I do understand why freshmen do not have open campus privileges, mostly because I have used many of my free periods to get my school work done.

Chloe Zilembo, sophomore:

Free periods are a luxury that WHS gives their students. A lot of other schools don’t allow their students to have free periods, never mind the opportunity to leave campus. At WHS, most juniors and seniors are allowed to leave campus whenever they don’t have a class, but the freshmen and sophomores are not.

By the second semester, many sophomores have their license and drive to and from school. If someone is responsible enough to get their license and allowed to drive an expensive piece of machinery, why should they have to stay at school during their free periods?

Freshmen not being allowed to leave campus makes total sense, but sophomores in the second semester should be able to leave if they have their license. There have been times when I have wanted to leave school in the middle of the day because I didn’t have any work to do during my free period, but I couldn’t.

That being said, not being able to leave campus doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Luckily, there are plenty of options at WHS to utilize during free periods. For example, if I want to get as much work done as possible, the cubicles in the media center are a perfect option, and if I want to hang out with my friends, the tables in the library or Commons are great. I am extremely grateful for spaces like these that allow me to still use my free periods to their full extent despite being unable to leave campus.

Jenny Shine, junior:

In my experience, free periods can be a way to have fun, be social or productively work on homework. This year, spending time on the loads of homework I receive each day has been the main use of my free periods and my social life has gradually been put on the back burner.

Junior year allows more freedom during free periods and the ability to drive plays a large role in this. Although leaving campus and spending time with friends during free periods can be tempting, my school workload can unfortunately interfere with these much more exciting activities. Most of the time, I find myself sitting in a cubicle next to my friends, making my free period productive while also in the company of peers.

One way I do take advantage of my upperclassmen privileges is by arriving late or leaving early when I have first or last block free periods. Being able to leave without having to ask my mom to pick me up, getting some more sleep or getting a few extra minutes of downtime when I get home has been extremely beneficial this year. Also, getting to avoid traffic in the parking lot saves much needed time.

However, because underclassmen do not have these privileges, they have to go somewhere on campus during free periods, which can interfere with people who have a lot of work to get done. It can be really frustrating if underclassmen are being loud or distracting in places that are supposed to be quiet and productive.