The ‘senior spring’ debate

The first thing that most of my teachers warned my classmates and me about when they handed out their syllabuses at the beginning of the school year was that “there is no such thing as ‘senior spring.’”

Now that I am exactly five weeks away from graduating, I can confirm that there is indeed such a thing as senior spring. But yet, what my teachers told me is true because there also isn’t such a thing as a senior spring.

Confused? Follow along with me on this.

See, I definitely feel some of the clichés of “senioritis” such as a preference for spending my free periods outdoors rather than in the library, an unwillingness to do some of my more tedious homework and an overall feeling of gratitude that I am not a junior who has the pressure of finals, standardized tests and imminent college applications.

However, there are other stresses that come with the last semester of senior year in high school that are contrary to this carefree time during which the pursuit of fun is supposed to be the sole goal. To start, many students still have to finalize plans for after high school. For me, this has meant revisiting colleges on prospective student days, which requires me to skip school and catch up on the missed classwork — even the tedious assignments that I loathe to do.

No one really warns high school students, besides my clairvoyant teachers, that the “college process” proceeds nearly through the end of senior year.

Besides planning for my future, there is also a feeling that I want to leave high school with a good impression. After all, I have been attending Greenwich Academy for the past eight years and it would be unfair to myself and my school to suddenly stop being a student and active member of the community simply because of the “free pass” issued to me when I was admitted to college.

There are many senior projects that I still need to complete and I want to do so to the best of my abilities. As a prerequisite to graduate, all seniors at my school must write a “senior essay” that essentially proves that, if nothing else, we have learned to write a paper. Additionally, I am finalizing my school’s annual literary magazine — something that has been accumulating all year and it would be ridiculous to halt production because of the “senior spring” excuse.

There are also smaller, more fun stresses that are inherent during this time of senior year, like deciding how I want my name to appear on my senior yearbook page or planning a class-wide senior prank.

So does “senior spring” actually exist, or is it just a myth spun by high school students desperate to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel?

My contribution to this ongoing debate is that the vernal equinox during senior year of high school is an oxymoron because it is both an extremely stressful time, but also an incredibly exciting time.

While there are many loose ends to tie up and final projects to complete, these precious days before graduation are also an important time to enjoy with the people who will be my teachers and classmates for only a few more weeks.

 

Maggie Carangelo is a senior at Greenwich Academy.

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