With movies such as High School Musical 3, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club creating unrealistic expectations, realizing that your senior year of high school truly isn’t like the movies is a tough reality to face. Although the last year of school is not picture perfect, it’s important to look at how everything plays out over the course of those final 180 days.
While senior course loads differ due to internships, dual enrollment classes or half-day schedules, the expectations for the amount of work were underestimated. Students assumed that the workload would ease up after surviving junior year and in preparation of applying to college. “I expected [senior year] to be a lot less stressful, more chill and definitely easier. Unfortunately, it turned out to be quite the opposite,” senior Isabella Breton said.
In addition to a still challenging workload, seniors have to prepare themselves for college application season or looking at other post-secondary school options. Whether it be advice from older siblings or friends already in college, this is one thing seniors know will be a new challenge they must face. “I originally thought that filling [college applications] out would be a long process that would take a lot of time, and that’s exactly what happened. I had to really think and put time into my applications to make them the best that they could be,” senior Sofi Manrique said.
The dreaded disease that strikes during senior year is known as “senioritis”, producing side effects such as low motivation, constant “sick” days and drops in grades. Seniors know that once they become a “second-semester senior” and begin to hear back from schools, productivity levels decrease since they already know they’re going to college. “I definitely should not have taken four AP classes this year. My motivation has gone completely down the drain ever since third quarter started,” senior Amanda Merkin said.
The final Friday night lights, senior night festivities and senior skip days are just some of the activities that made rising seniors look forward to starting school again. Celebrating the lasts of a high school career can be bittersweet since students look forward to the final times spent with friends, but they might not be as amazing as they hoped. “One event we had was painting our cars in the parking lot before the first day of school. I had a great time with my girlfriends, but I wished the whole grade went so it would’ve been a class-wide social event,” senior Phoebe McCann said.
Looking forward to everything senior year has to offer doesn’t just affect those at the top of the school. Although juniors still have one more month left of their school year, the waiting before they’re officially one year closer to graduating is hard to deal with. “I expected to graduate this year, but then I remember I’m a junior so that’s a bummer. I really don’t think I’ll get over it soon,” junior Gabi Giro said.