The Realities of Senior Year


Jayson Nutt April 2016. Wiki Commons.

Rianne Pada, Feature Writer

Senior Year is possibly the most coveted position you could have during high school. You always hear underclassmen expressing their ultimate desire to just graduate already, for high school to hurry up and call it quits.  The seniors, with their experience and flashy off-campus passes, seem to have it all.

But of course, it’s no bed of roses. As an underclassman, you don’t really see the flip side of what it’s like to be at the top of the high school hierarchy. In Senior Year, you are juggling more responsibility than you’ve ever had in your entire life.

Suddenly you’re 16 or 17, being pressured to make decisions about your future even when you still feel like a kid.  Senior Year is deadline upon deadline upon deadline, with meetings about college lined up seemingly every week. The words “Common App”, “FASFA” and “scholarships” spread around like a bad cough, making it hard to breathe.

“We just received word from the Superintendent’s Office that our graduation date has been approved,” wrote college counselor Sandra Yoshida in an email sent only on the second day of school. “The class of 2018 will be graduating on May 22, 2018, at the Neal Blaisdell Center.”

As that date looms off eerily in the distance, every day seems like a ticking time bomb. There’s a college pamphlet left in your mailbox every day, and your inbox is flooded with recruitment messages from universities all around the world. It’s all about decisions, and research, and money, and time. It’s all about paying attention.

“Being a senior is stressful because of the idea of college next year, and having to keep track of the deadlines,” said senior Noah Tamura.

Now, seniors are scrambling — retaking the SAT, writing college application essays, and applying, applying, applying. Three years of college-talk has reached its peak, culminating in a stress overload for your very own class of 2018 seniors. It’s like a midlife crisis. In high school.

“Honestly, this year is nothing like I expected it to be so far,” said senior Teana Motoyama. “As seniors, you have a lot on your plate, whether it’s college, AP classes, sports, work, and applying to scholarships.”

There’s also this lingering sadness, knowing that the things you do won’t last forever. You know you’re running out of time. You’ll never be a young, naïve high school kid again — soon you’ll forget what it even feels like to be a teenager. Your whole life is changing around you, and all of it is beyond your control.

“You have off campus, so you don’t see as much people as you did in your previous years,” said Teana.

But there’s excitement in this finality as well. Having half days means more time for friends, and it can be a blast knowing how far you’ve come. There’s also a calm, joyous feeling being able to sit in the senior section, knowing you’re finally on top, where you always wanted to be.

“I’m really looking forward to graduation,” explained Teana. “I’m excited to see what’s in store for the future of the class of 2018.”

        Throughout the good and the bad, 2018 is sure to be a year to remember for this year’s seniors.