Second semester seniors stay focused but relaxed

January 23, 2014 — by Carolyn Sun and Kelly Xiao
After the endless worrying and studying that the first semester of senior year entails, it is no surprise that many seniors are now reveling in their free time and shrugging off the heavy cloak of stress that once weighed upon their thoughts. 
Senior Priyanka Krishnamurthi is one such example. 
“Normally, when I used to get home, I would be like, ‘OK, I have so much homework, I have to get all my homework done,’” Krishnamurthi said. “Now, I  go on YouTube sometimes [to] browse [for] random videos. I [ also] spend a lot of time on Netflix catching up on TV shows [such as] ‘Psych’ and ‘White Collar,’ and watching movies [like] ‘Les Miserables.’” 
For others, second semester motivates them to finish their homework faster so they can have more free time.
After the endless worrying and studying that the first semester of senior year entails, it is no surprise that many seniors are now reveling in their free time and shrugging off the heavy cloak of stress that once weighed upon their thoughts. 
Senior Priyanka Krishnamurthi is one such example. 
“Normally, when I used to get home, I would be like, ‘OK, I have so much homework, I have to get all my homework done,’” Krishnamurthi said. “Now, I  go on YouTube sometimes [to] browse [for] random videos. I [ also] spend a lot of time on Netflix catching up on TV shows [such as] ‘Psych’ and ‘White Collar,’ and watching movies [like] ‘Les Miserables.’” 
For others, second semester motivates them to finish their homework faster so they can have more free time.
“I’ve got this all brilliantly planned out,” senior Wesley Chaffin said. “I do all my physics homework during calculus and all my calculus homework during economics class, and then I just go home and play video games.” 
To Chaffin, second semester senior year seems “like the light at the end of the tunnel,” which propels him to complete his homework faster.
However, many seniors are finding it much harder to maintain the same level of motivation as they had first semester when there is now less pressure to maintain their grades. 
  “Senioritis is a thing,” senior Justin Liu said. “Homework assignments are like ‘whatever’ now. When I miss one, I used to be worried about offending teachers, but now it’s like, ‘Well, we’re not going to really know each other in a few weeks.’ Once you’re a senior, you don’t really care anymore.”
Yet according to Liu, the academic pressure and expectations from their teachers have not changed. 
“Most of my teachers, especially my senior teachers, have made it a point to tell us that they don’t owe us anything, that this semester isn’t supposed to be easier,” Liu said.
In addition, students say that because of the rigorous schedule AP classes must adhere to and the upcoming AP tests in May, teachers cannot afford to allow their students to slack off.
“We haven’t really changed what we’re doing; it’s just that everyone is a lot more relaxed," Krishnamurthi said. “It’s not the curriculum that changed; it’s just that everyone’s attitude towards the curriculum changed.”
However, second semester still presents the perfect opportunity to explore what seniors previously had no time for. 
Liu, for instance, plans to attend magic card tournaments at local centers and is taking full advantage of his additional time on weekdays.
“Since most of [my friends and I] can legally drive each other, we’ll go out for dinner or eat out together,” Liu said. “Most of [my] free time is spent on my computer, like a lot more YouTube. I’m actually thinking about starting video games that I have been hitting on for four years.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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