Second semester started today at my school, and with it came the relief of the senior class. College applications were out, 1st semester grades were in, and all anyone seemed to be talking about was this ubiquitous disease called, “senioritis,” which apparently infects the senior class starting about this time.
At first, even I started to notice some of the symptoms of this disease — lack of concern for future grades, an excessive need to be social at all costs, and even a general disregard for responsibilities pertaining to high school. But then I realized that it was my choice whether or not to catch this disease, and maybe it wasn’t as harmless as everyone had thought.
The fear of a rescinded application (which I found out is a real possibility when I talked to current students at Dartmouth about it) was enough to make me think twice about catching a serious case of senioritis. But at the same time, how could I treat the unique opportunity of second semester as something ordinary?
On the one hand, this is the last semester of high school, the last semester to be with high school friends under the same school roof. It is a rare opportunity when we have a smidge more latitude on grades, and being the oldest, we seniors are finally at the top of the totem pole. But our grades do still matter, and we still have responsibilities to the organizations and clubs to which we belong.
The conclusion that I have come to about “senioritis” is one of moderation: it would be a waste for us to ignore the benefits of second semester — we should enjoy the last months with our friends and the opportunity not to have to worry about grades as much — but we can’t forget about our responsibilities — our responsibility to our classes, to our clubs, and most importantly to ourselves. If the fear of not being prepared for tests or a rescinded application is what scares you healthy, then so be it, but ideally our personal integrity should keep us from developing severe cases of “senioritis.”
Good luck to all of you in finding your balance between fun and responsibility this last semester. Enjoy your friends, and keep working hard!
Right before the semester started I talked with a lot of my friends about “second semester resolutions,” and here’s what they said:
“I want to finally read a book for fun.”
“I want to become friends with more of our class before we graduate.”
“I want to go to lunch with friends every day instead of staying in and studying more.”
“I want to learn more about my favorite subject instead of studying more for a class I don’t like.”
“I’m going to start running for exercise.”
“I’m going to have breakfast with my Mom before I leave for school.”
“I’m going to help my younger sister with her homework more.”
“I’m going to pick guitar back up as a hobby.”
“I’m going to listen to lectures from iTunes U to prepare for college classes.”