Senior Mag 2023: Seniors suffer from chronic tardiness 

June 6, 2023 — by Jonathan Si and Stephanie Sun
Could be fatal.

It’s 8:47 a.m. First period is already in session, but Afsoon Modiri continues hibernating as her alarm goes off like a siren. Eventually, Sleeping Beauty awakens from her deep slumber and trudges her way through her morning routine. When she finally pulls up to school, she heads straight to the attendance office. It is now 9 a.m. 

“Ms. Armes doesn’t even have to ask for my name anymore,” Afsoon said. “She asks me ‘Are you running late today?’ and I say yes and she hands me my slip with my information.”

It’s a natural process for students to fall into a habit of being tardy, sometimes especially during the end of senior year. After all, once people have gotten through most of three tumultuous years of high school and the stress of college applications, everyone’s ready to take it a little slower. But in some cases, it becomes a little too slow. 

For some seniors, tardiness is a new experience for them. Lily Zhang said that going into senior year, she couldn’t have predicted her declining attendance record. In second semester alone, she earned a solid 23 tardies. Afsoon also boasts an impressive 61 tardies from senior year. 

“I was never late first semester or last year pretty much at all,” Lily said. “And I was like, ‘I’m never getting a Treasure Toga. It can’t be that hard to be on time, right?’”

Combined with a consistently tardy carpool buddy and a diminishing ability to care about them, Lily found herself more often than not arriving to her first period well after the bell had rung. Although she lives only a short distance from the school, she has gotten into the habit of waking up later and later, sliding farther and farther down the slippery slope.

“I can’t remember the last time I was on time,” Lily said. “At this point, I’m always five or six minutes late, instead of one minute late. I figured it’s fine to come later because they’re gonna mark you off anyway.”

She attributed her developing tardiness to both her proximity to the school and the ease of driving. In previous years, Lily said she primarily walked to school and woke up and left her house much earlier to ensure she made it on time. 

“Because I live so close to the school, I’m like, ‘There’s no way I can be late,’ but there definitely is a way to be late,” Lily said.

Unfortunately, this growing habit has leaked into their personal lives: Afsoon said she also often arrived late to hangouts with her friends. Not being allowed to leave the house until her hair dries, coupled with the struggle of just waking up on time, Afsoon recalled missing out on various plans like morning hikes and brunches. Additionally (and ironically), Afsoon has occasionally arrived late to tardy remedying events like Treasure Toga and Saturday school.

“I thought it started at 8:30 and I was like ‘OK, that’s fine,’ so I got to the school at like 8:45,” she said. “And I found out when I got there that it started at 8.”

As they head off to college, both Afsoon and Lily hope they can improve their time management by managing their time better, walking to class and taking later classes in general. Both seniors said they appreciated the teachers that didn’t give them tardies throughout the year, but also acknowledged those who do. 

“Honestly, that’s fair. I did it to myself,” Afsoon said. “To my teachers that don’t give people tardies, I love you.”

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