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The Hardships of Senior Year

The Struggle is Real

Senior Raylene

Jacqueline Garcia

Senior Raylene

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High school seniors are on the brink of making some of the most important decisions of their lives, and for many, senior year will be one of the most time-consuming and stressful years of their school career. Once senior year comes, students need to start applying to colleges, studying for exams, and applying for scholarships, which can be quite overwhelming. With senior year come a lot of emotions and uncertainties about what this year, and the four years after that, will bring. Students need to realize that this a very important year that will have a very big impact on their future, and that there will be many hardships that come with it.

Many people don’t realize that senior year is not a time that one can just sit back and relax, it’s one of the most stressful years of high school, if not the most, because students are faced with many deadlines and things they have to do in order to get to college. Some of these things would be: applying to college, scholarships, financial aid, and taking the ACT and SAT. On top of this, students need to keep their grades up and make sure they get enough study time in.

Kolani Henderson, a senior at Oak Hills High School, agrees that students simply have too much on their plate. “For me the hardest thing about senior year has been keeping up with my classes while doing extracurriculars,” said Kolani. This is the case for many seniors who can become too overwhelmed, which can sometimes lead to the phenomenon known as “senioritis.”

Terrible Case of Senioritis

The Merriam-Webster website defines senioritis as: “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences and lower grades.” Senioritis is a mindset that many seniors adapt in which they become unconcerned about their school work or grades. It’s understandable that students can become flooded with responsibilities such as scholarships, homework, and financial aid applications, but slacking off senior year can come back to bite. Some students think to themselves, “I’m done with high school, I got accepted to a college and I’m done for the rest of the year.” Grades begin to drop significantly; this can make all of one’s hard work go to waste. What a lot of seniors do not know is that colleges will take notice if one gets bad grades senior year. Most decision letters from colleges usually include a line that reads, “Your admission is contingent on continued successful performance,” which means one technically hasn’t been accepted if one fails to meet this requirement. To avoid colleges rescinding their acceptances, take this idea that “I’m done for the rest of the year” out of that head because you won’t be done until you have a diploma in those hands.

The ACT and SAT

Taking the ACT and SAT is very important because depending on how someone scores, this can determine whether they get accepted into their college of choice. Starting to study early for these tests is key because cramming information last minute will only allow one’s brain to absorb parts of the information that is being studied. Taking the practice SAT is very helpful because students are able to get a feel for the test and the type of material that will be on it. Also, one should create a study schedule and make notes of which areas need to be  improved, whether that be math or English. It’s very important to not register last minute or miss the deadline for the ACT and SAT!  

Applying to College

The process of applying to colleges can be quite daunting and intimidating, but students should remember that this is all for a better future. There are some important things one can remember that can make the application process a little easier. First, one should create a list of the colleges one wants to apply to and number them by priority. This is important because for many people college applications aren’t free and they can be quite pricey, which limits how many colleges one can apply to. Students must remember that applying to college has a lot of parts to it; one does not simply fill out an application like a job form. For many, college application essays are required and one must make sure these essays are proofread by teachers and are written to the best of one’s ability because they will be read by admission officers and can play a big part in their decision making.

Money Problems

College can be quite pricey and students should try to get as much free money as possible; starting with scholarships. Start searching for scholarships as soon as possible and don’t wait last minute towards the end of senior year. One should look for local scholarships, heritage scholarships, and ask their career center specialist for the scholarship bulletin which can really help. There are thousands of scholarships online that are tailored to you and websites like fastweb can help match students to scholarships. When applying to scholarships one should be careful because there are many websites always looking to scam people out of their money. If a “scholarship” website asks for your credit card number, that’s a quick sign that the website is not legit.

Makayla Ortiz, a senior at Oak Hills High School, knows the difference that scholarship money can make. “My parent’s struggle financially and I’ve known for a while that paying for college isn’t going to be easy for my family, I’ve been doing scholarships since middle school and I’ve already won three thousand dollars which is going to be a great help for paying for my tuition,” said Makayla. 

Whether one is a freshman in high school or a senior in their last year, if one takes this advice and applies it to life, change will soon be seen. Senior year is very important and we must stay strong and resilient during these stressful times. Just know that it will all be worth it in the end, and if one works their hardest it will make it easier for one to succeed in the future.

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