Seniors Struggle With Balancing Commitments, Expectations, and Excitement

Comic by Lori Umbanhowar
Comic by Lori Umbanhowar

Senior year. To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It’s your last year of high school and certainly a year to remember, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily an easy ride. Along with everything else in life, being a senior comes with positives and negatives.

The positives are pretty straight-forward. We get to leave school at the end of the year earlier than everyone else, we get to do fun activities such as Grad Bash, and we will gain many freedoms as we venture off to college the following school year, such as setting our own curfews and scheduling our classes.

However, there are still a bunch of downsides to being a senior.

For example, colleges are constantly trying to appeal to as many students as possible and foolishly think bombarding seniors’ emails is the way to go. Few things are more annoying than logging into your email and having to scroll through a plethora of emails from colleges you don’t even care for. While the effort for attention is noted, it’s not taken seriously.

Even worse than the emails, though, are the applications. Most of them tend to be pretty lengthy and require information you don’t know off the top of your head, such as your parents’ social security numbers. Not to mention you sometimes have to write an essay about how great you are or what you would add to their school or some other equally vague question that leaves you stumped for hours on end. The anxiety caused by this is increased dramatically if it’s for your dream college. Copious amounts of time will be spent just trying to figure out your thesis alone. Few things compare, though, to the feeling of relief when you finally submit your application.

Unfortunately, said feeling of relief is short-lived as you anxiously and impatiently wait for your acceptance letter. Some days it won’t cross your mind, and others it will completely consume it. Fearful of rejection, you’ll try to think of alternative schools that are all-around great, but nothing seems to compare to your dream school.

Depending on your ACT score, GPA, and other various qualities, you may get accepted or rejected. In the case you get accepted, feel free to congratulate yourself on a job well done. In the case you were rejected, keep in mind that there are plenty of great colleges still out there. Plus, you could always transfer to your dream school after being at a different college for a little while.

Once you finally decide which college to attend, you have to start thinking about what you want to major in. Most colleges will allow you a couple years before forcing you to decide upon a major. While this is a kind gesture, it’s still a huge and intimidating decision to make. You only have a couple years to decide what you want to do as your future career. It’s an overwhelming prospect that leaves many people feeling clueless as to what they want to do.

Senior Jimmy Andrie, who plans on majoring in civil engineering, is one of the lucky few who had no trouble deciding what to major in. He said, “I was always good at math and felt I should go into a field involving math.”

Eventually, you’ll figure out which college to go to and what you wish to major in. Unfortunately, you’re still in high school, even though college is almost constantly on your mind. This makes it seem like the year is ever-so-slowly dragging on. You can’t help but to question if and how the material you’re learning will be needed later on in life. Everything regarding high school just seems so miniscule compared to the apparent glory of college.

Senior year isn’t all fun and games, though many of us wish it was. Submitting college applications and picking out a major is emotionally and mentally draining. Plus, an early graduation coupled with senior skip day leaves us scrambling to get everything done.

On top of it all, seniors suffer from a dreaded disease known as “Senioritis.” Senioritis leaves its victims feeling drained, unmotivated and too weak to go on. Needless to say, seniors have it way too rough.

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