Senior Year Mistakes Haunt CHS Students

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Senior Year Mistakes Haunt CHS Students

Grina Nguyen

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Senior year, students often mistake their last year of high school as a time to relax. Sadly, many take this attitude to the extreme and lose motivation to learn. Why? The answer is that they have already fulfilled most all of their requirements and see senior year as a playday and a payday. But will this mentality actually help them in the long run?  Will it help them get into college? The answer is no. Worse, students who get severe cases ”senioritis” can even end up losing their admission status at colleges to which they’ve already been accepted.


The fact is, many seniors find themselves stuck in a rut of self-pity.  They don’t choose their classes carefully and are left with the “wrong” electives or  AP classes for their senior year. The fact that they have to show up and indulge the class daily leads to a lack of commitment.


Most educators have no patience with this behavior. Spanish teacher Manny Diaz claims that “going into senior year with complacency sets obstacles.” In addition, homework and studying for tests lose their priority status because students are not committed as seniors.


According to Huffington Post, in the article, “The Terrible Case of Senioritis” by Jonathan Ng, he states, “Failing classes and not producing enough credits during the senior year can be a huge setback to graduation.”


Help is available. As soon as the fatigue and inertia set in, it is an important time to address the problem with a counselor and try to make the best of it before the doldrums get worse.


In Kat Cohen’s article entitled, “The Truth About Senior Year of High School: What to Expect and How to Deal” she asserts how colleges look at all of four year grades in high school because students are required to submit at the end of the year. Cohen remarks, “Colleges will require you to submit a final grade report, and poor grades senior year can keep you out of your dream college.” This ensures that students are still on top of their studies and show colleges they are committed individuals who can remain focused until the very end.


Christian Ramirez, a counselor at Clairemont High School, confirmed this: “Students who fail classes . . . will endanger their college acceptance because colleges look at their final grades, and if it looks as though they are slacking off then they (the colleges) will rescind their acceptance letter. If they don’t meet their graduation requirements, they don’t graduate high school.”  


Patrick Hornbrook, a vice principal at Clairemont High School, claims, “Senioritis is a real issue.  Many students are excited to be finished with high school, so much so that they quit working in the last months of school as they look forward to whatever is coming next. The only way to prevent the problem is to buckle down and finish strong. Simple as that.”


Balance is the key. Failing required classes might not seem hugely important, but it is. Even if it’s the most laid-back class, it’s more beneficial to push through it because that will be one of the easier A’s to earn on the transcript.


Senior Johnny Dinh found himself failing his AP English Lit class in May of this year because of poor attendance. He ended up dropping it (and taking the ‘“F,” and then had to complete an I-High course in the last three weeks before graduation). “I regret not putting in more effort initially,’ said Dinh “But since I had to graduate, I had to make sure I get my work done and attendance straight.”


Brendan Vongsa, senior, has upped his grades after two years of slacking off. He says, “We only have a few months of school left, we should be preparing for college by doing our work.”


Does that mean seniors should only focus on academics? No. Zudia Cervantes, another senior, responds, “I stay focused during senior year by writing down my priorities on an agenda so I won’t forget them.”


Her classmate, Asia Vongsithi, also adds, “I try to balance my school work with social life by planning ahead so there is time for both.”


Studies have shown that students who occupy all their time with school work have been experiencing different mental health issues. The symptoms students face include fatigue, anxiety and depression. One issue can easily lead to another and students are at a vulnerable stage of life where they seek the most support from their family members or families.


Joana Ocampo, another senior, comments, “I became sleep-deprived because of school and the homework.”


It’s important for students to realize that the school experience from K-12 is a building foundation to college and eventually adulthood. Senior year is the last and significant preparation for the outside world, and students should take advantage of it in every possible way.