Senior Expectations vs. Realities

Be a senior, they said. It will be easy, they said.

This is the common misconception that people make. Many underclassmen and juniors have an assumption that senior year is going to be the easiest of them all. A year comprised of a lighter academic load, enjoyment, and a whole different feeling.

Or so they think.

According to senior, Sam Hodge, twelfth grade is just as academically inclined like any other; with classes to attend, homework to complete, and tests to study for.

“I expected that junior year was going the high academic year and everything was going to be a lot harder,” Hodge said. “I don’t think I realized how academically rigorous senior year was going to be.

According to senior, Rachel Holloway, having a rigorous schedule is crucial in order to get accepted into an elite school. It also prepares you for college.

“I think that you have to keep challenging yourself and keep taking hard classes, if you want to go to a hard school,” Holloway said. “If you take easy classes your senior year, you are not going to go into college with the same work ethic. So I kind of always wanted to keep my course schedules rigorous.”

Apart from the academic rigor, seniors are engrossed in their college applications. And on top of that, they have to manage their extracurricular activities.

Senior, Michael Crawshaw said, “Just figuring out where I want to go has taken up a lot of time.” “The pressure from applications and admissions is a lot to handle. It dominates my schedule. The main thing for me is I don’t want to let something like college admissions overpower the things I love to do. I love to play piano. I would never be able to say I guess I don’t have to practice piano for a month, because I have to do all these college applications.”

The pressure of college acceptance has enforced discipline in seniors and has prevented them from slacking off.

Senior, Emily Calvani said, “At some points I want to slack off.” But, at the same time I really can’t do that if I want a college to see me as a good candidate for that school. I want to slack off sometimes, but I know it’s not really an option.”

Apart from the rigorous coursework, the arduous college application process, and numerous extracurricular activities, some seniors don’t truly feel like “Seniors.”

“I always feel like an internal freshman,” senior, Cassidy Peebles, said. “I have said that since sophomore year. I thought I would change every year. I feel more mature knowing that next year I will be going to college and will be out my comfortable surroundings.”

According to Calvani, she was not expecting to feel like this. She too, was expecting to feel like a, “Senior.”

“During the summer I was expecting to feel different coming into school as a senior,” Calvani said. “I think as a freshmen I would always look at people and kind of be a little intimidated and this year I don’t. So I guess in that sense I feel different. But, other than that it’s kind of like the same.”

On the contrary, freshman have very different expectations for senior year, compared to the actual realities.

According to freshman, Brian Karl, being an eighth grader, feels like being a top dog of the Middle School. And this is what being a senior would feel like.

“You [as an eighth grader] should be more of role model,” Karl said. “The eighth graders didn’t get any power. It just made them feel like the senior of the Middle School. I would feel similar (when I am a senior) to being an eighth grader.”

Freshman, Kaitlin Lewis, has a different opinion of senior year. According to Lewis, she won’t feel any different as a senior. But, she expects it to be a little laid back.

“It’s weird to even think about that I am in high school right now,” Lewis said.  “I probably won’t even feel much different. I think it’s going to be more fun. I am going to take harder classes. But I still think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I feel like it’s going to be a little more laid back.”

According to Emily Calvani, senior year is about having fun and experiencing new things. But, at the same time, it also important to concentrate on school.


“It’s exciting getting to experience new things and getting to help out underclassmen, but at the same time I am still here for a year,” Calvani said. “I still need to focus. I am just really excited for it.”


One thought on “Senior Expectations vs. Realities

  1. Arnav, I can relate to your story. I share much of your same views. I went into University of Cincinnati, expecting something else than the reality.


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