Written by Cher Valentine

Senior year is known to most as what is supposed to be the best year of your high school career; shorter days, hardly any homework, completely stress free. I can assure you, just from the months leading up to my senior year, it is anything but that. “Senioritis” is at an all time high and my relaxation level is at an all time low.

Going into my senior year, I have been college researching and figuring out how to become an adult. I am learning more about myself and figuring out the kind of person I want to be as well as the kind of colleges I want to go to. My summer is anything but fun and spontaneous hangouts with friends; everyone feels inadequate and stressed. FaceTime calls have gone from watching and reacting to Riverdale together to searching for colleges and talking each other out of dropping out.

The college search is the most stressful part of senior year, especially if you don’t know where you’re going yet. My problem, being a hopeful film major, is finding a school with a good film degree where I can minor in theatre. A lot of schools have theatre programs but most accessible schools don’t have a film major. I’ve watched my friends start giving up on their dreams because of how hard it is to get into college, paired with the grades we receive in high school. Intelligent kids are giving up because they need to go too are too expensive. Colleges no longer care about just your grades; the kind of person you are represents them so they want the most well-rounded student at their school. They want someone who will be successful after college to give them a good name.

After you finish the college search you have the fact that time is counting down seemingly faster than ever. The clock is ticking and months turn into weeks and before you realize it, you’re leaving and there's nothing left to do but say goodbye and pack. You have nine more months to be with your friends and even less time than that to figure out what scholarships you can use and where you’re going. Senioritis doesn’t kick in because you’re lazy, it’s because you’re tired and you’re just a kid having to figure out the rest of your life.

When it comes to senioritis I think there's a lot of emotion — some combination of it all that varies by individual of what's going on. So you've got, really, fear of the future; you don't know what's going to happen, you're being pushed from your nest that you're used to, and you're moving into the unknown. You can become stunned by that feeling. Then there’s stress which really impairs your higher-order thinking, too, making it hard to do schoolwork. There can also be panic, because you just don't have the self-confidence you once had. You hope you have a great job ahead waiting for you, but you fear that you can't carry it out, you don't have enough experience and you just have lots of anxiety about your ability to handle it.

However, you usually do snap out of it. You process everything and realize you can handle what’s coming at you. You say goodbye to your friends and pack your bags, figure out what exactly you’re doing with your life, at the moment, and take off. Senioritis is the big obstacle that everyone must face when leaving high school because it’s our minds trying not to let go. We want so badly to hold on to what we know, no matter how many times we say we can’t wait to leave. Senior year is the best year of your high school experience, but it is in no way the most stress-free. You’re emotional and scared, and that’s best part. The fact that you can feel those emotions towards a place that, not going to lie, you hated; means you’re ready to go.