STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

My Song: From "American Idiot"s to National Champions



Joined: 8/7/2012
Posts: 1
azalea.fire
This past spring, my school had the honor of representing Illinois in the National Academic Decathlon competition. Acadec, as the title may hint, requires focus, determination, and a lot of studying. As we flew to Albuquerque, we were running low on the first two, which made the third nearly impossible.
Upon descent, the mountains awed us: Chicago is many things, but “mountainous” it is not. The weather was a balmy seventy-five degrees, breaking away from the frigid temperatures back home. It was perfect for wearing shorts and t-shirts, playing Frisbee, and taking “artsy” photographs while we waited for the hotel to finish our rooms. The thought that we had nearly a week of no school only further propelled us into the most feared realm for all decathletes: procrastination.
Once we got inside, I didn’t know how we would ever be able to get anything done. The plush, aubergine couches downstairs practically begged for us to lounge on them, instead of reviewing. Our rooms all had views of the spectacular mountains, producing further distraction. Everything was sounding better than staring at paper.
Our coach watched us study with all the discipline of toddlers. Finally, she issued an ultimatum; competition was two days away. Either shape up, or lose. We trudged back to our rooms, thoroughly spooked, but still restless.
The boys were on a different floor, and the two most serious girls were down the hall. That left us, the final four, in one room, and extremely fidgety. We flopped on the beds, I plugged my iPod into its speaker, and we all tried, for the umpteenth time, to study.
I cannot study without music. I need background noise in order to focus. In fact, one of my favorite study techniques involves music. When I make a playlist, I always ensure that there are some high tempo songs mixed with the slow. The idea is that if my attention starts to wander, I can listen to a fun song and refocus. As I stared at my notes, the words swimming on the page, one of those songs came on: Green Day’s “American Idiot”.
We all instantly started humming. One girl harmonized with the vocalists, prompting us to belt out our best impressions of Billie Joe. I hopped on the bed during the breakdown, grabbing a highlighter to use as a microphone. We all preformed our best Rock Star moves, probably scaring the room next to us with our “sounds of hysteria” as we sung along. We collapsed into tired fits of laughter. A classical song came on, and I looked at my binder, suddenly ready to face the daunting task before me. After all, I wasn't an American Idiot.
Second-place medals greeted us on the final day thanks, in part, to our last minute study bursts. If I could, I would send a medal to Billie Joe as well; after all, he got half of our team back in shape with his rock anthem.
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us:  StageofLife.com is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on StageofLife.com.  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests


2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests





2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests


Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog

StageofLife.com was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy