Welcome to the end of semester two, the most exciting time of the year here at M-A. Eighth graders are gearing up to start their high school journey. Freshmen are ready to hand over their pesky “freshy” title. Sophomores are buying their SAT prep books. Juniors are starting their dreaded college search. But where are the Seniors? Probably at home, in bed, with not a care in the world. They’ve skipped a class or two…or twelve.
It is a recurring theme each year: second semester seniors have few worries about falling behind or even having bad attendance. Senior Tess Statkiewicz said, “I think for a lot of us it’s the fact that we are already committed to a school. It just feels like the final stretch and it’s so hard to keep the same effort we had in say junior or sophomore year.” Senior Jeremiah Earby agreed, saying, “senioritis has affected my work in class the most by procrastinating and getting ready for things in the future like graduation.”
Another senior, Marcello Batista, spoke about the hardships of being productive from home. He said, “I find it hard to get up for school and honestly I end up just doing most of my homework at school in my classes.” On the other hand, Seniors like Kieran Kunihiro may try to slack off, but end up stressing out even more. “Senioritis has made my life so much more stressful because even though it’s nice to temporarily blow off work, I feel the constant need and impulse to make up for that work last minute so that my grades won’t slip too far.”
This mentality is one that most teachers and administrators are used to; however, most of them try to help these students finish strong. AP Environmental Science teacher Erica Woll said, “I have a field trip coming up for APES. And so I told them, if they want to come on the field trip, they can’t have any missing assignments whatsoever. So that’s pretty motivating for them. I recognize that is not something that every class can do. So it’s a carrot that I’m like, kind of dangling in front of them. I feel lucky that that’s an option that I can take.”
Some students, like senior Riley Goldman, have attempted to find ways to finish strong. “One way I stay focused is by deleting all my social media apps for about six hours during the day. I also bring my laptop to work with me so that I have extra time to study or finish any missing work.” Senior Deklan McKay added to that idea saying, “I find it easy to complete work when I shut out any distractions. I like to turn my phone off and take at least an hour to complete any missing work each day.”
The schoolwork doesn’t end just because graduation is less than a month away. Woll said, “I think that at the end of the day, all the seniors know that how they behave at school is a big part of their character. And I know that seniors don’t want to have their character tarnished by becoming that student who’s not doing their work, not turning stuff in, and always having to ask the teacher for extensions.” In these last few weeks, it’s important to not only have fun, but also to finish strong.