[Archives] Why Senior Fall Can Be So Cool
by The Milton Measure on Friday, October 25th, 2013
Jennifer Carpenter on November 21st, 1991:
“Senior year is so cool. Since freshman year, seniors have been trying to frighten me with horror stories about senior fall, stories concerning college applications, stress, and a heavy workload. Of course, they were absolutely right. But it seems like they forgot to tell me about all the other aspects of senior fall–the parts I’d like.
Once and for all, I would like to inform all the underclassman that senior fall is not the hell people make it out to be. Yes, you will pull more all-nighters senior year than you ever have before. Yes, you will be expected to commit a lot more time to your extracurricular activities. Yes, you will spend countless hours trying to think of something creative and original to do with 8×11 piece of paper that will make the college of your choice want to accept you. But what seniors don’t tell you is that there are some parts of senior fall that are actually fun. As my senior fall draws to a close, I find I can reflect rather fondly on the past weeks. I have been able to avoid burnout by abiding by a few basic rules—rules I would now like to share with all you future seniors, in an effort to save as many people as possible from horrors of senior fall burnout. Here they are… The Four Commandments of Senior Fall.
1. Schoolwork The main thing to remember about schoolwork during your senior fall is not to stress out. You must accept the fact that life is hectic beyond belief, without trying to change it. The fact is, whining and moaning because you have three papers and a science lab due on the same day isn’t going to change anything. Realize that teachers aren’t out to get you, and that they tend to be very reasonable about extensions. They understand that you might like to go to college, and that getting there might entail skipping a French assignment or two in order to finish a history paper or study for a math test. So budget your wisely, and keep you priorities straight. Finally, if work becomes so overbearing that you’re about to lose your mind, take a day off. It’s a smart alternative to insanity.
2. Leadership One of the coolest things about senior year is that, all of a sudden, your class will be helping to run the school. Teachers and administrators will want to know what you think, and you will have to tell them.
The key thing to keep in mind on the subject of leadership is that, as seniors, you can finally make a difference. Let’s face it, the opinions of underclassman are not given a whole lot of consideration at this school. So once you’ve made it to senior year, live it up! Go on, make a difference while the administration is willing to listen to you! Senior year is the time to make Milton Academy your school, to make it reflect your class. So start clubs, write up SGA proposals, do whatever you can to make a mark on the school before you’re gone. Besides, it’s a good way to get your mind off the work you’ve been avoiding.
3. Seniority Picture a typical senior day in school. You have just taken a big history test, and you are a little tired after staying up until four in the morning the night before to finish a biology lab. You want an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie, and you want it now. Unfortunately, there are twenty-five seventh graders in line before you. Never fear… you’re a senior! You can cut people in line and no one will say a word. Being a senior, you will get first dibs on everything from assembly seating to intramural spots. I was the 45th person to sign up for the twenty-four spots on intramural tennis this fall, but I got on. Why? Because I’m a senior. Seniority definitely has its privileges, so take advantage of them as much as you can.
4. Senior Auction A world to the wise: don’t make your own life hell for no good reason. Every November, seniors willingly auction off themselves and their services for needy children in a persecuted third world country. It is a wonderful event for an undeniably worthy cause, but each year several stupid seniors end up regretting the fact that they either gave up twenty hours of their time or made complete fools of themselves for six dollars. When donating to your senior auction, be realistic. Be aware that, while offering to take someone skiing for a weekend might seem like a good idea at the time, you might feel differently five weeks later when you have three papers to write in one weekend, but you don’t have time because some freshman who doesn’t know how to ski paid eighteen dollars for a weekend at Aspen, and now you have to entertain her. Most importantly, if you have any enemies at all, even if there are people who just don’t particularly like you, do not auction yourself off as a slave. People at this school can be quite vicious, and no amount of money is worth licking people’s feet or standing up in junior-senior assembly and whipping yourself with a dead flounder. The senior auction is an important event, and one that can be fun, as long as you don’t offer more than you want to give.
These are the things you will have to remember during your senior fall. I urge that if you are an underclassman reading this, you should cut it out and save it, and then use it as a sort of Bible during your own senior fall. Considering the stress you are inevitably going to experience, I think you’ll be happy you did.”
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