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Senior Stress

When high school is not the best years of your life

Photo by Dr. David Porter

Photo by Dr. David Porter

Emily Rodrigues, Opinion Editor

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Seniors have heard it all: we are lazy, reluctant, tired, and overall just infected with that stuff called “Senioritis.” However, the reason for all that drowsiness isn’t just sheer lack of will; it is the aftermath of stress.

From a sophomore or junior’s point of view, it may look like we have it easy. The teachers are more forgiving, we have more easy classes, and if we are honest, the general lack of care is tolerated a lot more for us than them. Except what they don’t see is that we are under a lot more pressure than any of them can imagine.

What is this sore spot we are trying to escape? College. Bingham’s graduating class is bigger than my dad’s entire high school population was back when he was our age, and my parents constantly refer to the fact that college in this generation is so much more required than it ever was in their childhood. So the pressure lies on the seniors, and sometimes that stress even comes from the things people are trying to do to help us. As much as we love what the counselors set up for us, but the college activities as of lately have increased my stress rather than decrease it.

College day, in general, was just hard. Many of us seniors (those who don’t already have life figured out or a full ride scholarship) were silently panicking as we sat through three different presentations all pushing us to choose them, choose a major, choose a life! Choose, choose, choose, and all right now and right away! It also never helps a confused child to say we also have over 150 majors to pick from… well, now I’m even more behind on decisions.

Seniors have spent thirteen years of school being asked what we want to be when we grow up, so by now, it seems socially unacceptable to say we don’t know. So, during each and every counselor or parent meeting when they ask the dreaded question again and again, the pressure builds. Albert Einstein once said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” As a senior, I constantly feel as though I am trying to climb trees. How will I know when I don’t want to “climb trees” anymore and instead maybe want to sew dresses?

In short, there are too many options and too many choices for one kid to simply decide. We are lazy on the outside, but it is because we are so mentally drained on the inside. Serious college preparation really needs to be pushed more in middle school and evenly spread out among all the high school years. The overload of information during senior year is just not working for a lot of us. Dr. Suess wrote, “So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.” No one could have described senior year better.

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Senior Stress