Study Hall: The Shocking Teacher

Wilson reflects on lessons learned in study hall


Jacqueline Wilson, Managing Editor

I have always been one who pushed myself very hard academically. I have pressured on myself to perform well, while also challenging myself as much as possible. For this reason, I had always looked down upon study hall. I saw it as a lazy, useless, and wasteful option. 

For my senior year of high school, I decided to take a study hall, ignoring my prior beliefs. I did this in an effort to allow myself a less stressful and more enjoyable final year of high school. And yes, the extra hour of work time has proven to provide both, but it also has taken me by surprise and offered knowledge. I can wholeheartedly say I have learned more in my 8th hour study hall than I ever thought possible. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have tried to take advanced courses all throughout my high school career. This has left me with little variety of classmates. I have, for the most part, been around the same students all four years at MV. In study hall, I have been introduced to many students who I never would have had the opportunity of meeting, had I not taken the class.

 MV is a very diverse campus. I feel a study hall has the opportunity to mesh together the different groups of students. On a daily basis I talk to peers ranging from freshmen to seniors and band members to football players. One of the biggest lessons I have taken away from study hall is to not judge a book by its cover like the old saying goes. 

Like many students my age, I enjoy talking. I have never been one to get into disciplinary trouble in school, but if I do it is usually for talking when I’m not supposed to. Study hall is the perfect environment for this bad habit of mine to flourish. Our class often goes on tangents and gets involved in very interesting discussions. I remember at the beginning of the school year, there was a student who mostly kept to themself. They did not talk a lot or join in our group discussions. As the weeks went on, I would ask this student some questions to involve them in the class. Now, this student talks with the class every day and is a lot more open. This exemplified another lesson I have learned in study hall: the significance of small gestures and the huge impact they can have on others. 

There is no denying that “school smarts” and “street smarts” are two completely different concepts. I can attest that yes, I do excel in class, but there is a lot of knowledge and plenty of skills that I simply do not know. This has been a major takeaway from my study hall. So many students at this school have so much to offer in different subjects. Just because I know more math, does not mean I know more in general.  

I can honestly say that I look forward to study hall every day. I would encourage anyone who has overlooked the option of taking a study hall to reconsider. There are so many people to meet and so much to be learned, even in a study hall class.