It’s Sunday afternoon at the Ann Arbor Westgate Public Library, with finals just around corner. It’s fairly quiet, as it is a library after all. On corner table, one can spot two Ann Arbor Skyline students working diligently on their computers.
Neethi Kheterpal and Elena Axinn are both on the same page, finals are coming and they need to be ready. “[Finals] are worth so much, and GPA means a lot,” said Axinn. “I really need things to go well.”
Though both are worried about their final grades, the ways they’ve found themselves in this position, as well as their experiences throughout the semester, are very different.
“Every day I spend like a quarter of it worrying about my GPA,” Axinn said. “It affects my daily life, to a point where it is my daily life.”
As the founder of the Mathletes, Vice President of Junior Senate Action, and amember of the equestrian team, Aximn spends 4 to 4.5 hours on homework per day.
Kheterpal has taken a different approach. “My daily life it isn’t affected that much [by GPA], but then it all just comes out at once,” Kheterpal said. “I guess it affects my Sunday nightlife, procrastination and all.”
Also involved extracurricularly, Kheterpal plays both lacrosse and field hockey, and competes in academic competition for the DECA Business club. Her studying habits are some that many other high school students can relate to.
“I make excuses for not doing [homework], things like, ‘No, It’s fine. I’m tired, I have lacrosse,’ they are excuses to myself, because otherwise I’ll feel bad,” Kheterpal said. “I really care about my grades, and we all want to put in that A effort, but putting in the work gets tough sometimes.”
Kheterpal can often save a grade late into year, perfecting a skill known as “grade grubbing”.
“I got a D on my history final on the last try and I had a 92 in the class,” said Kheterpal, “I was like ‘Hey Mr. Bickle, like I totally know that I just failed your final, but like I put so much effort into it, I really really tried all trimester.’” Things ended up working out for Kheterpal, despite Aximn’s complaints.
“I’m always working so hard, losing sleep studying for each test, loosing more sleep stressing about how I’ll do,” said Axinn. “If we weren’t great friends, I don’t think I’d like her so much.”
Though both Aximn and Kheterpal use different techniques, they can both be found in the library almost every day after school leading up to finals.
“I have different things to learn from one another,” Axinn said. “Maybe her more than me.”
“I hope we both do well,” Kheterpal said. “This is a big week, and If i don’t end up grounded afterwards, we’ll call it a win.”