Got Senioritis? Know the Signs


Gabby Safley (12) prepares to throw a stack of cornell notes off the balcony.

Tori Carpenter, Staff Writer

So, you’re a senior. First of all: my condolences. I, too, have spent a fair share of my first weeks back crying in the depths of Counseling Office after selling my soul to the Common Application. Second of all: while you might not “get through it,” if you’re lucky, there are at least some things you can reliably expect. Behold!


Stage One: Denial

Raeann Crowley (12) and Mr. Johnson (Teacher)

It’s not going to be that bad! Maybe I’ll have fun! Think of Lunch Release! And Graduation! Oh, these were the good ol’ days. Where we thought moving up to the front row of football games would be the only change. Maybe you’re still in this—kudos. But for the rest of us, denial is no longer a possibility once they start sending out surveys about what we plan to do for the rest of our life down to the minute.


Stage Two: Anger

Gabby Safley (12)

Why in God’s name is school still a thing?! Aren’t robots already smarter than us? I am still here, in this area. And my parents are bearing the brunt of this stage—I haven’t stopped asking them why they decided the Western construction of school-based education was “best.” I could be farming, or hiking K2, or learning how to waltz, or becoming famous in China, or doing anything instead of spending my fourth year at a school that doesn’t have windows. And then comes this awful realization: “Hi, I’m a senior and I come to school 7 hours a day to get 2 credits to graduate.” Basically, I don’t even have to be here. And then you hear Freshmen complaining, and you have to go cry in the bathroom and rip up a couple Very Important Forms, an attempt at school-appropriate catharsis.


Stage Three: Depression and Detachment

Audrey Miller (12)

What is life for if we aren’t living it? Can life be lived at school? Am I even at school? Where am I? These are all things we ask ourselves as we lay in bed at 8:57AM on a Monday morning. If you ask questions with no answers, no one will ever be able to give you any credible evidence to peel yourself out of bed.

It’s also now March and you still haven’t heard anything from your top colleges but your siblings keep reassuring you that the circus is always hiring. Alas.


Stage Four: Dialogue and Bargaining

Cheyanne Meadows (12)

How much money would it take to get me out of here? Would my firstborn child suffice? 157 days until graduation calls for extreme measures, you’re willing to cut all familial ties, sacrifice your identity and join the CIA or risk the 15-absence-per-class limit and become a truant. If your dad “kidnaps” you and doesn’t make you go to school, is it really kidnapping/illegal? Nothing has been an acceptable alternative so you look into back up plans and wonder if being a highschool dropout would really be so terrible. Those GED programs and colleges that don’t require high school diplomas look promising.  


Stage Five: Acceptance

Mythryl Thomas (12)

It’s only a year of taking Fs from half your teachers. At this point, we’ve all internalized the “you’re going to fail anyway” mentality. It’s easier to know that you aren’t alone, that there have been generations of seniors before you beginning to accept their failure. You’ve also come to terms with the fact that for the next 6 months, every. single. person. at every family gathering thinks it’s their business to suggest what you should do with your life or relentlessly interrogate you about your plans. If you’ve been able to accept the “I don’t know what I’m doing after June,” they’d better take that as an answer too.  


Stage Six: Sweet, Sweet Crying

Kiki Dowell (12)

What am I supposed to do now?! There’s a stage after Acceptance, a form of denial combined with nostalgia that everything you’ve known is about to end. Everything becomes your “last.” Last home game–it will never again be ok for you stand in the student section of a football game and scream your head off. Last fluorescent blue cafeteria slushie–they’re not actually that bad. Last couple years on your parents’ insurance plan. Last year being squished into the back of a car with your siblings for Thanksgiving. Last home cooked meal where no one will look at you funny for eating your weight in Grandma’s banana pudding. Last jam session in the Wendy’s parking lot with six friends packed into the back seat.    


And then… Congratulations! Even though you’ve struggled through 13 different emotions every 7 hours for over 200 days, at the end of it all you’ll look back and see that you made it. Everything will (hopefully) be okay now because you are a survivor.