Stresses of the Senior Year

Jason Fasano, Writer

High school seniors have a lot on their plates this time of year. Faced with the burden of filling out college applications, keeping up with school work, sports practices, part time jobs, clubs and activities, and family obligations, it’s no wonder by the time winter rolls around most have fallen victim to the infamous plague of slacking off commonly known as “senioritis”. But this doesn’t need to be so; senioritis could in fact be avoided if seniors were given more privileges.

What sets seniors apart from underclassmen in terms of stress? College preparations. This goes far beyond simply filling out application, which in itself can be a burdensome task. Seniors looking to impress prospective colleges and give themselves an edge on their application take more challenging and time consuming classes, and engage in a multitude of extracurriculars to round out their resumes.

“All I’ve done so far was register for the common app. I know I’ve still got a lot more to do,” Senior Tom Corsi admits. And he is defiantly not alone. Plenty of seniors still have work to do, be it writing college essays, touring schools, or narrowing down their list of schools.

Seniors seem to be at all stages of the college applications process. While most deadlines for standard application are still a couple months away, deadlines for early action and early decision applicants are drawing very near.

“I’ve already written my college essay, and filled out most of the common app,” said Senior Jared Linne, “but I haven’t done any of the specific applications for certain schools yet. I’ve got my list narrowed down to 6 or 7 schools, and I’m planning on applying early action to most of them.”

Guidance counselors have been coming to direct studies, or scheduling appointments with those students without a direct study in their schedule, to go over the application process with students. Generally speaking, students who don’t have direct studies tend to be those who chose to take more classes than usual, most likely to impress colleges. It is fair to say that these are the same students looking at better colleges and earlier deadlines.

And yet meetings with your guidance counselor appear to be harder to get this year due to administrative changes in the school. Teachers are no longer allowed to dismiss students to leave class to go meet with their guidance counselor. Meetings must be scheduled with guidance before or after school. Unfortunately, students are busy rushing to catch buses, be on time for practice, or get to work after school and hurrying into school in the morning to be on time for first period.

School work seems to become less of a priority as other things take over importance in seniors valuable time- work, college applications, and time with friends.

“I’d say I’ve been fairly unmotivated to do homework and schoolwork, because I just too much other stuff to get done and I don’t have time for all of it,” continued Jared Linne.

However if the rules were relaxed to accommodate such stresses, with additional privileges extends to the senior class, seniors might be able to better handle the stress and stay focused on their school work.

The most significant privilege that currently exists for seniors is the early release date- seniors get out of school in May, several weeks before underclassmen. However, this comes at the end of the school year, long after the vast majority of the grade has already fallen victim to senioritis. Fall is the most stressful time for seniors, this is when they need help managing their time and their stresses, not in May.

To see what the experts have to say about senioritis click here.

To get started on the common app click here.

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