Seniors look back on earlier years

January 19, 2010 — by Anna Shen

With each year of high school, students seem to find it harder to manage academics, sports, extra-curricular activities and a social life, leading many seniors to look back fondly on earlier—and easier—days when they were freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

“I’ve liked each year in high school a lot, and each one seems different,” said senior Madeline Rothenberg. “I would say with each year, I’ve figured out how to have more fun while still getting good grades. I cannot believe that we are seniors though and that so many students already know exactly where they are going. It’s crazy to think about.”

Other seniors remember having the free time to watch TV and surf the Internet when they were underclassmen.

“Looking back on freshman year, I barely had any work. I did not know what a lot of work meant, because I had plenty of time to do other activities on weeknights and weekends. Sophomore year got progressively harder, but everything was very manageable,” said Rothenberg. “Then junior year came around, and there was a lot of hype about taking the SATs and the workload from school just went up, especially since it was my first year with honor and AP classes.”

Although junior year is considered to be the most nerve-wrecking and integral year of high school, senior Ashwin Siripurapu said junior year was simply a “natural extension” of everything he had done before in his life.

“Senior year was a whole new ballgame,” said Siripurapu, who was accepted into Stanford as a part of the early admissions. “I had never filled out a college application or gone for an interview or researched colleges before, so it was an eye-opening new challenge; in that sense, it was harder than junior year, even though the classes were somewhat easier.”

Now after getting accepted early into college, some seniors are unsure whether they will be capable of experiencing senioritis, which, according to Siripurapu, means “to lack the work ethic that drove you through high school, because you know that you’re going to college no matter what you do.”

“Getting into college definitely is a huge relief. I honestly don’t think I’ll be trying less now that I’ve gotten into Stanford. So in a way, I think I’m sort of incapable of senioritis; more than that, I’m afraid of it,” said Siripurapu. “Some people can be daredevils and try to fly as low as possible, in terms of grades, without getting rescinded, but I can’t do that. Unless I’m getting good grades, I’m constantly afraid that I’ll fail.”

However, this is not the case for Rothenberg, who, after getting accepted early into University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin and Loyola Marymount, can feel the slow spread of senioritis begin.

“I did not have that much senioritis until this week after I heard from a couple of good schools that I was accepted into; so I feel like a lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders,” said Rothenberg. “But since I don’t have an exact school I want to go to, I need to talk myself into getting through this semester without slacking off.”

Both Rothenberg and Siripurapu agree that certain sacrifices must be made in high school in order to end up where they are now. Siripurapu had to make social sacrifices in order to work harder, whereas Rothenberg learned to balance academics, a social life and sports.

“I did have to make social ‘sacrifices,’” said Siripurapu. “I don’t really regret the fact that I have absolutely no social life, but sometimes I wonder how things could have turned out differently.”

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