The truth about senior year: a facade


Katie Cheng

Senior Katie Cheng is drinking boba as a way to relieve stress from her senior year responsibilities. “The new title of being a ‘senior’ on campus has brought on responsibilities and challenges that have given me experiences no other high school year has given me. Aside from working to get college applications done and end of my high school career on a high note, I’ve also been struggling to find the time to enjoy this final year,” Cheng said.

Annie Kim, Staff Reporter

An important warning to juniors! 

I was lied to about senior year by my peers. As an AP student, the experiences that I have gone through so far have been rigorous in ways that I never imagined. I was always told by my peers, “Senior year is easy… all your teachers give you time to write your college essays.” Having the pressure of wanting to finish off the semester well, but at the same time having to fight off senioritis while filling out college apps takes a toll on your mental and physical well being. With most early action applications being due on November 1st, many students struggle with meeting the deadlines since teachers do not give leisurely time to write applications. 

Senior Emily Ma says, “Previous seniors told me that you do not have to care about your classes. They said that it was going to be easy, which I disagree with, and for UC schools they still care about your fourth year classes and grades. These classes can still pay off in the end for being accepted to college which the past seniors did not warn me about.” 

With senioritis taken in account with the loads of homework and college applications to fill out, seniors have had an overwhelming amount of work to manage. Some even say that their senior year so far has been much more to manage than their junior year. Teachers that have senior classes have not been taking in account the deadlines for college applications in relation to their own projects and tests they assign. 

Senior Joanne Lu says, “Only one of the teachers cares about college app deadlines, but the one that cares gives us a lot of work. Most teachers still give the same amount of homework and I think the teacher should soften up on the week of deadlines. It felt like they assigned more work when early action was due.” 

Many teachers have the choice to give seniors the leisure time of writing essays for college apps but choose not to. One teacher; however, gives her students the crucial time to write their essays. The reasoning behind it?

AP Literature teacher Ms. Yeh says, “I mean, you guys are just so stressed, right? Like, whatever we can do to kind of relieve some of that stress. Plus, you guys are seniors, right? Like we’re one of the few people that can give you adequate feedback to help you be successful. So, Mrs. Grissom, and I decided last year that this was something we would incorporate into our class.” 

Her, being a younger teacher, has a sense of empathy for the seniors because she is aware of the competitiveness of getting accepted into college in this day in age.

The amount of responsibilities that seniors have been given has had a toll on the mental health of many. To avoid procrastination, stress, and senioritis, seniors have been employing a variety of self-care activities, among these being: 

  1. Exercise/sports
  2. Making a set list and working in order
  3. Take a warm, relaxing bath
  4. Scream in a pillow 
  5. Take a nap
  6. Playing an instrument
  7. Playing with your pets.

After trying these methods, a few seniors have given feedback on some of the methods listed above and whether they really are effective, or not. 

Senior Steven Huang says, “Prioritizing what needs to be done has been the biggest factor of managing my time efficiently. Keep track of when assignments are due, for what classes those assignments are for, and any activities or responsibilities that you have outside of school and then order them by importance. It becomes less stressful and more efficient when you are doing your work in the correct order.”

Fortunately for most seniors, the work schedule after college applications becomes more calm and collected. We can assume that after college applications are turned in, seniors go back to worrying about AP test season and grades like any other student.

For juniors with senior year around the corner, “Attend school events, and it will be over before you know it!” said Emily Ma.