Don’t trip, give us grade-level trips


Busan, Tokyo, Bangkok, Dubai, London, New York… There are limitless possibilities of cities that we could travel to if we had grade-level trips. In each city, students can make unforgettable memories and explore endlessly. Though the pandemic has halted nearly all international travel for several years, school trips are now returning, and the dream of grade-level trips is becoming more realistic.

Pre-COVID, grade-level trips were a norm when students were in Middle School: each year, students went on a three-day trip, engaging in team activities: in sixth grade, camping, in seventh grade, Vivaldi Park, and in eighth grade, Gangwondo. When thinking back about middle school, these moments stand out. 

We should continue to make memories made in high school. Besides the memories, grade-level trips can also provide numerous benefits for the student body. 

Our high school students are often overwhelmed by the workload and excessive studying. We manage grades in 8 different subjects, participate in extracurriculars, and study for APs. Grade-level trips allow us to put stress aside. Being away from school allows us to put a pause and escape our fast-paced lives. The time we spend relaxing with our friends contributes toward better mental health. 

Grade level trips will also raise class spirit. They can foster unity amongst us in ways that schoolwork cannot. Cooperation in school is mainly focused on academic projects or teamwork in sports. Grade trips would allow us to get to know each other on a deeper level. We can make bonds that are deeper than mere academic acquaintances, and create long-lasting friendships. As the whole grade goes on trips together, our relationships with each other will contribute to the class identity.

Not only will grade-level trips improve student relations, but they can break down the walls between teachers and students. School work and grades get in the way of meaningful conversations and connections beyond an academic level. Grade-level trips allow teachers to get to know their students even better as they cultivate shared experiences. Students will be able to freely talk to teachers about non-school-related topics and share common interests in sports or hobbies.

Despite all the benefits, it is true that grade-level trips are very burdensome to plan. Multi-step permission from parents and administration, reservations for activities and hotels, and finances of food and transportation are among many procedures that must take place for these trips. Additionally, scheduling may become very troublesome with many classes running on tight schedules. 

Despite the drawbacks, grade level trips provide an unique experience and opportunity to bond with classmates and teachers beyond the classroom setting. Grade level trips can effectively teach students valuable life skills, such as responsibility and self care, but in a fun way. 

More than anything, grade level trips could become our favorite memories from high school.  Talk to your grade student council representatives to voice this idea. You could also talk to the administration or your parents to bring this dream to reality. Perhaps, a domestic grade-level trip for a few days would be possible for this year or the near future.