June 7, 2023: Judgment Day

On Wednesday, June 7, the skies turned dark orange and the world began to end for the second time in three years—it was finals week, and Zeus was furious.

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As if finals weren’t stressful enough, the students and staff of Stuyvesant High School faced an unimaginable catastrophe when the end of the world coincided with exams. In what can only be described as a cosmic prank, Judgment Day and finals collided to create a cataclysmic airborne toxic event. With their academic futures in jeopardy and the fate of humanity at stake, the students of Stuyvesant High School faced their toughest test yet: passing finals without passing away.

Picture this: your typical specialized high school setting, filled with awkward students poring over textbooks, cramming vocabulary, and agonizing over multiple-choice questions. The atmosphere is tense, anxiety hangs in the air like a heavy fog, and the only solace in sight is the thought of just one more week until summer break. Little did they know, their desperate pleas for mercy would go unheard, as fate decided to intervene in the cruelest of ways.

As students transitioned from class to class, they peeked through the windows and witnessed the luminous orange light glaring into the building. Orange-brown smoke and dust enveloped the sky, and the smell of smoke lingered in the hallways. It seemed they were no longer in the bustling streets of New York City, but in the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert, living nomadic lives in their quests for survival.

There they were, hopelessly attempting to pay attention to their rigorous courses while the apocalypse unfolded around them. As the meteors loomed closer, some brave souls took one last look at their notes before accepting their fate, realizing that perhaps their final grades were not as important as they once thought. However, most didn’t and wondered if writing about armageddon would look impressive on the Common App.

Teachers, torn between maintaining order in their classrooms and fleeing for their own lives, desperately tried to find a balance between education and survival. Throughout the school day, students murmured to one another about the impending doom, worried for their existence. Or not. “I hope the math final gets curved,” one said. 

“Do you think the Regents are going to be canceled?” whispered another, clearly more concerned about the thought of taking a standardized test than living another day. Others chimed in with a mix of anxiety and dark humor, jokingly pondering the significance of New York State exams amid Zeus’s divine wrath.

Doomsday also cast its shadow over the incoming freshman class, leaving its mark on their Camp Stuy experience. Normally, the Camp Stuy orientation is a time of excitement, exploration, and social networking for incoming freshies. However, as the state of the world worsened, students began huffing and puffing and struggling to see even their own hands in front of their faces. Panic spread like wildfire as the bewildered freshmen dropped their orientation packets and scrambled out of the auditorium for safety. As they dodged fiery debris and tried to recall the names of their English summer reading novels, the irony of the situation became painfully clear. There they were, grappling with quadratic equations and Shakespearean sonnets, while the world crumbled around them. Amidst the chaos, the Big Sibs, usually responsible for introducing the freshmen to the ins and outs of high school life, found themselves in uncharted territory. Some attempted to maintain order, continuing to follow through with pointless icebreakers and presentations about the beautiful miracle that is Stuyvesant.

In the face of such extraordinary chaos, the students of Stuyvesant High School refused to give in to despair. They channeled their resilience and determination, banding together to support one another through this chaotic experience. With textbooks in hand and a flicker of hope in their eyes, they resisted the crumbling hallways, thundering meteors, and choking smoke. They each completed all nine of their final exams amidst chaos and uncertainty, defying the looming apocalypse with every stroke of their pens. At that moment, they understood that their true test was not only one of academic achievement, but also of resilience, unity, and the invincible spirit of Stuyvesant High School. As the world trembled, they emerged stronger, forever bonded by the shared experience of surviving the ultimate test.