Sunday, March 18, 2012

Senioritis - by Elizabeth Horner

College Bound 2012
By Elizabeth Horner

Am I suffering from a case of high school senioritis? The common know symptom is “slacking off” in school performance in comparison to my previous level. I will let the readers be the judge.

I started to dream about my college life when I was still in fifth grade. I have been thinking of a university that will embrace my passion and provide me with the opportunities to grow in my chosen field … creative writing, for years. I have had visions of meeting, talking and learning from educators that will introduce me to very challenging but personally rewarding school projects.

When the time came to get started around August 2011, I did not waste any time. I have done much preliminary work --- explored the internet, printed university materials to read, and made binders for each that I would like to list in my Common Application. I took the time to review the admission criteria, the admission process, admission paperwork deadlines. At the end of it all, I have a total of seventeen, 2-inch binders.

I can’t tell you how many admission essays I’ve written --- for the supplemental forms required by each university plus additional essays to be considered for scholarships. It has tested my endurance in non-stop writing --- at lunch hours, in-between breaks from doing my homework, weekends, at the back-seat of our car while travelling to a college interview.

And please understand that I cannot renege on my extra-curricular activities as those are important too, not just for my personal development but also for each scholarship application. Most forms will ask not just for my involvement but length and depth of my participation, leadership role, and recognitions/awards as part of those activities.

I have to continue to challenge myself also academically to qualify for those scholarships, so I am taking 5 weighted classes this year after completing 6 total in earlier years.

I really, really, really do not mind all the above. The problem though is sometimes, there are not just enough hours in a day to get everything done and still find the time to meet my basic needs like eat my lunch or dinner properly. I wish that there’s something that can be done to make the process less taxing when you are applying to competitive universities. But what I cannot stand right now is being labeled suffering from the classic symptom of Senioritis. Maybe, this is a misdiagnosis … actually, I prefer mal-diagnosis. It’s not that we are slacking off, maybe there’s just too much work and not enough time to do everything expected of us as we transition from high-school to college and from being dependent to independence. Maybe it should be recognized instead as a side effect of an overdose or overdrive or simply Senior Fatigue.

As we take our next steps into the world, walking the path that will help us become productive adults, I am also asking the grown-ups in our lives to remember and understand. This is a stressful time. We can work and work without achieving the same level as our previous results and that doesn’t devalue the effort we put into it. During the times we are spread thin, we depend on you to help us gather ourselves together again.

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