By INDIA KRUG – “School feels weird.” That statement has floated off the lips of many seniors as they enter a year filled with firsts and lasts. The “Senior Condition” is the discomfort associated with the lame duck period between highly-structured life and adulthood. For many, it contains both stress and excitement, as students prepare for what comes after IHS.
Senior Danny Lee says, “As a senior, teachers expect a lot more of you, but there are also a lot more freedoms. They trust that you will get your work done so you can spend time on extra-curriculars. It is an overall friendlier environment.”
There is a significant mental change required when entering twelfth grade. Sports and groups that used to be comfortable may now seem more like courses to upperclassmen who’ve become responsible for helping the younger members. Teenagers are forced to become the role models they used to look up to.
But above all else, students become aware of the moments they will miss. It is difficult to try to savor something while you’re living it. Some may be ready to leave, others may be more reluctant to sacrifice home-cooked meals for dorm rooms and dining halls.
Siblings are given insight to this process by observing their older siblings.
Lee’s younger sister, sophomore Lizzie Lee, shares, “Danny has shown me many things over the years, including how to be a hard worker. He inspires me to push myself in school, and challenge myself. Since I talk him everyday, it will take me some time to get used to him not being here.”
The perplexity of the “Senior Condition” is the variety of trials faced. One day it may be: “What am I wearing to HOCO?” and the next: “What is a FAFSA form?” Friend groups can experience growing pains upon the realization that they will no longer see each other daily. Students are held accountable for filling out college and job applications.
Senior Katie Stump shares, “I chose to apply to UPenn because of their excellent pre-med program, their financial aid, the fact that there are great hospitals in the area, and the percent of their pre-med students who get accepted into medical school. I also enjoyed the overall feeling.”
Students can manifest the emotions associated with the “Senior Condition” in many different ways, from feeling burnt out to extreme levels of pressure. While this transition may be awkward for some, it is experienced by all and will act as a uniting factor as every senior continues on to the next chapter of their life.
[Photo by Grace Woolslayer]
Photo Caption: “Senior Luke Ciocca plays soccer for his last season as a high-schooler.”
India is a senior and joined The High Arrow because journalism matters. Since joining the staff three years ago, she has written many articles, including opinions, has made a lot of friends, and has grown to adore Bob Woodward.