The reality of senioritis 

This was no high school musical 

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Photo by Peyton Sims

Story by Mikayla Zverina, culture editor

“Senior year is a breeze.”

“Senior year is so much better than every other year.”

I have heard these things in some shape or form all throughout high school. I’m pretty sure everyone has. Everyone walks through these halls, dreaming of the day their senior year starts just so they can finally take a breath and coast right through. I hate to break it to you, but they lied. 

I really wish I could feed you those same lies, but I just couldn’t do it in good conscience. Sometimes the workload is lesser than previous years, don’t get me wrong, but oftentimes, it’s not. Add on college applications, jobs, tours, and making the final decision of where to go and what career path all while trying to create a memorable senior year with friends comes together to form the perfect recipe for disaster. Students become overburdened by all the responsibilities forced upon them in such a short period of time. I know I did. I wanted to shut down and give up. And I really wish this was a story to inspire future students saying that I overcame it with ease, but this is not that kind of story. 

Senior year is a burden. I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to do, and on top of that, I had tons of scholarship applications to complete just so I had the luxury to go to whatever college I ended up choosing. I was lost. I panicked about what my next step would be all while trying to stay afloat in all my current classes, and quite frankly, I can’t say I succeeded. I became tired, overworked and flat out exhausted. I got what some would call “senioritis” and what others would call lazy. 

Lying in bed watching the minutes go by, dreading going to school now more than ever, wanting a “mental health day” to catch up on not just homework but sleep as well, constantly kicking myself for not going remote when I had the chance all equaled depression. Calling this depression by a fun name, like “senioritis”, is society normalizing and downplaying the reality of it. By doing so, students just like me are told that their feelings aren’t valid just because this happens to most students in their position, and they’re not special. Well, I’m here to tell you that while this may be true and affecting a group of people, your feelings still matter and you still matter. 

But in no way whatsoever am I advising you to give up during senior year and here’s why. After those late nights spent drenching my keyboard in tears came the loud obnoxious head splitting “GOOD MORNING” I got from one particular morning person that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world (you and I’m pretty sure everyone else knows who you are). Paired with the dark bags under my eyes and dragging feet came the warm embraces of my friends in B2 who will never know just how healing their hugs and kind words actually were. The long, stressful weeks ceremoniously came to an end with the highly anticipated bus rides consisting of “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses” and squeaky pig toys. My senior year simply wouldn’t exist without these moments and many others captured on a disposable camera. It’s these people that got me out of my slump and pushed me to keep going. 

I’ve become aware that life moves on whether I’m ready for it or not. Assignments come flying left and right without any hesitation. College is right around the corner, and all of my friends will be hours away making new friends and some of the greatest memories of their life –– and doing so all without me by their side. It’s painful to think about. Some of the greatest friends that I had in high school, some of the characters in the wild stories I will tell my kids, will just be distant memories that I look back and reminisce about. 

But college shouldn’t be something that I fret. While I don’t know what the future may hold, I know that this next stage in my life is something that should be embraced with open arms. I know that these next few years will be some of the greatest times in my life as I discover myself, my purpose and make tons of new friends who will add to my memories along the way. Most importantly, I know that my friends that are hours away doing the same thing will always be there cheering me on. 

I’m not going to deny that this year was hard, but because I didn’t let this so-called “senioritis” dictate my life, this year was also one of the best years of my life.