Senior Year Around The World: Senioritis (USA)

The 6th post in our Senior Year Around The World Series is here!

Throughout my high school career,  senior year (or 12th grade,  or the last year of high school) has been portrayed as the most fun, carefree, walk-in-the-park thing in life. In the last half of your last year of high school, grades hardly matter as most students have been accepted to their college of choice already.  In comparison to junior year, or 11th grade, which is by far the most challenging year of high school, senior year is incredibly easy.  

As a freshman, I watched the seniors in my study hall play cards and laugh with their textbooks closed while I scrambled to get enough homework done to keep my life together for another day.  Their lives seemed so easy, but now that I'm a senior, I know that that isn't quite the case.

Don't get me wrong; I spend the majority of my study halls talking, laughing until I cry, and playing cards.  Yesterday, I spent most of my time after school playing volleyball, watching our favorite TV show with my little sister, and reading, with about twenty minutes dedicated to homework.  I'm getting to do all kinds of fun things!  It's just that I now know that seniors do those things not because there's no homework to be done, but because they just can't bring themselves to do anything that they don't enjoy.  That's where I'm at right now. They call it senioritis.

Maybe the term "senioritis" is unfamiliar to you?  I know that this is being read all over the world, and it's very possible that senioritis is an American thing.

Basically, it's the feeling that you get during your final year of high school.  You start to realize that you're kind of ready for high school to be over.  You're a little tired of some of your classmates and a lot tired of homework, and you're ready to stop walking the same hallway to the same locker every single day. 

You find that you don't have to pull straight As anymore, or if you do, that you don't have to try as hard to get them because homework is a lot easier or non-existent. You start to get really excited about college, which makes high school seem less exciting because, well, it's not college.  And because you're so focused on the future, high school gets kind of difficult and also way, way more fun at the same time.

Senioritis, the mysterious phenomenon that causes seniors in high school to skip homework, sleep in class, and call in sick to school when they're not, is kind of wonderful and terrible all at once.  Wonderfully, it causes seniors to do things that they never would have dared to do when they were younger. As I write this, one of my classmates is being asked to leave class to clean up the remains of a coconut that he threw at the wall this morning.  I don't know if flying coconuts are necessarily a good thing all the time, but I can appreciate the extra excitement that they create.  I mean, you guys, he brought a whole coconut to school! And for some reason, felt the need to throw it at the wall! 

I think senioritis kind of has similar affects to alcohol, i.e. getting rid of inhibitions and good decision-making skills.  Things have gotten weird this year, you guys. I mean, other than the coconut thing. My friends and I have spent lots of time dancing, sleeping, and singing out loud, whenever and wherever (almost.)  I guess we have the sense that, by being a part of the oldest class in the building, we're inherently cooler than at least 3/4 of the population of the school, so whatever we do is automatically cool.  Now that I've written it out, I have this nagging feeling that maybe that's not how it works, but I'm going to ignore it for now and keep letting senioritis run its course in all its ridiculous glory.

I've also found that my senior year has also come with a much, much greater appreciation for the people around me.  It's got me acting really old and nostalgic, and I find myself thinking at least once a day about how amazing a friend or teacher is and how much I'll miss them when I'm in college next year, with a whole new set of peers and professors.  I've become a lot more focused on the people around me and a lot less concerned about things like running faster in preparation for track season or pulling perfect scores, and that is a great thing.  I mean, accomplishments are cool, but I think people are a lot more important. 

The entire volleyball team at a tournament, getting some good bonding time (and winning, I'm just saying.)
During one week in the fall, American high schools celebrate homecoming week!  On Friday, all the the school's alumni are invited "home" to watch a football game, and the whole week leading up to it is full of festivities.  This picture's from " 'Murica Day", a day designated for students to dress up as different American icons. 

Senior year = visiting potential colleges = walking around college towns with a photographer friend = super cool, artsy photos.  

And, sledding with friends that you're comfortable enough around to wipe out in front of many, many, many times.  This is the life.

Senioritis is not all good, though.  I mean, they named it to sound like a disease, so it's obviously got some not-so-stellar points.  It's the reason that I stayed up until 1 AM last night, alternately taking all the quizzes on Buzzfeed and checking school closing updates on my phone, just because I'd heard a rumor that it might be cold enough to call off school today. 

I am that obsessed with having a break from waking up early to go sit in classrooms, and I blame senioritis for 100% of that. (I should mention that Buzzfeed did help me to make some important discoveries, like how popular I really am, whether or not I should date someone normal, and how good I am at Harry Potter, so that time wasn't a total loss.)  And now I'm at school with just under 5 hours of sleep to help me function, taking that dang Harry Potter quiz over and over until I get all of them right. So, that definitely did not turn out how I hoped.

On top of that, getting important things done is really, really hard.  You don't even know.  I'm suddenly really insightful and realizing that there's more to life than doing my homework.  I mean, I have my health to worry about, because after I'm senile and have zero knowledge, I'd like to still be alive.  Therefore, exercise, in the form of ice skating, playing volleyball, or working out with my friends, is a lot more important than homework. And what will I be doing fifty years from now: finding how much force it takes to fly the world's largest kite, or baking cookies?  I think we can all see that it's much smarter to invest in a skill that I will put to long-term use than one that I will forever find useless.  So I bake cookies and hope that I can use them to bribe colleges into giving me free money instead of filling out actual college applications. 

Also, I have a list of movies to watch long enough to keep me on the couch for the next 6.5 years, so obviously I have to start now.  Watching movies is very important because, you know, communication.  Not knowing movie quotes is seriously hurting my ability to relate to the people around me, and that is a big deal.  Maybe not.  I don't know, blame it on the senioritis.

Allie Lange is a senior year student from Michigan, USA. To read more aboutf her adventures, visit her blog Reckless! Thanks again for contributing, Allie! :)

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