Second Semester Seniors

As college acceptances roll by and the four years are drawing to a close, many seniors shift their focus to enjoying the last moments their last moments in high school. The second semester famous for many things- prom, senior class trip, senioritis, and long-awaited graduation. Read Priscilla’s junior report in which she shares her thoughts on second-semester senior year as well as her expectations for college ahead!

Recently, a well-known disease that few high schoolers are safe from has been spreading around: senioritis. Senioritis, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” I, myself, fall victim to this ailment.

No words can describe the sense of relief that I felt as I pressed the “submit” button on my last college application. From that moment on, I accepted that everything from there on was out of my hands. Once a student’s last regular decision application is submitted and the first semester has ended, his/her fate remains solely in the hands of the admission team. Most schools require mid-year reports (grades that are typically sent after first semester), but most seniors decide to start their summer vacation 6 months early, as soon as second semester begins. For students who have received a deferral or a rejection from their early decision/action schools, the best they could do to increase their chances of admission was to have stellar grades for first semester. Now that the last semester of high school has begun, many students have begun their journey as second semester seniors.

For seniors who have applied via early applications (early decision and action deadlines are primarily in/before November and the decisions are released around mid-December) and have been accepted, they have considered themselves second semester seniors since last December. These students, who have officially been accepted into college, don’t have to worry about keeping stellar first semester grades; they only have to make sure none of their grades drop low enough for the school to rescind their decisions.

With exciting senior-exclusive events coming up as the school year comes to a close, students become more preoccupied with prom, field days, and spending their last moments in high school with friends rather than school itself. Even teachers have become aware of the decreasing academic performance and motivation of their students, tending to be more understanding of the seniors who are burnt out at this point in their high school career. After 4 years of all nighters, tears, and stress over tests and extracurriculars in preparation for college acceptances, seniors deserve a bit of leniency for all their hard work.

Of course, with freedom comes responsibility. Many parents allow their kids to relax at this point after pushing them for the past 13 years in school to try their hardest. Not having guardians to keep up with their schoolwork anymore can be unsettling for some students; this is the start of their independence as they move out of their homes and go into the real world as adults. This transition period as a high schooler to an adult can be both frightening and exciting. Most seniors are turning or have already turned 18 by now, and they have to learn how to do things on their own. They won’t have parents to tell them to start their homework or to do their laundry at college. Personally, it is scary to think of having to buy my own groceries, learn to do laundry, and live miles away from home. Although I am 17 and graduating in a few months, I still feel like a child, and it’s strange to think of myself as an adult. I can’t imagine myself and many of my classmates as working men and women who will grow up to have children and jobs.

On the other hand, college is another 4 years of studying; high school already felt like a lifetime, and it’s a bit of a buzzkill to think about another four years of suffering. However, college will be a completely different experience, with more freedom in choosing what I want to learn and study. High school has been a long and grueling activity, but senior year has gone by unbelievably fast. If I had any advice to give to underclassmen, it would be to treasure these moments, even the ones where you’re

stressed over grades or relationships. Those memories will be experiences you can look back and laugh upon, as well as ones that will help you to further improve yourself in the future.

Priscilla Song

Tenafly High School

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