I am proud to announce the first blog post by one of our own students, Lily Lieberman, who will be talking about a subject very near and dear to her heart: senioritis. We can't get enough of her writing style here at Strive to Learn. So here's to the first amongst many others!
Coffee in one hand, a breakfast burrito in the other, and my laptop bouncing somewhere between the two, I found myself once more cursing the pattern of red lights that colored my route to school. On the third heart-pounding morning of jogging across the parking lot, I thought about what could possibly be at the root of my punctuality problem. No matter what time I woke up each morning, my journey to school was always a panicked dash.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the only real obstacle in my morning routine was me. Getting to school on time had never been a problem, but it was a few months into my senior year of high school, and it felt as though every streetlight in Orange County was working against me. Soon, the reason for my tardiness became obvious.
The symptoms of senioritis are recognizable: a lack of work ethic, sleepiness, impatience, and my personal favorite, lateness. Any high school senior will tell you that their school existence is punctuated by these symptoms, sour reminders that it would be so much easier to check out and coast until graduation.
When class ended on that third day, I gathered my things and left the room, still mulling the problem over in my head. It seemed that there were two options: 1) crash completely and give in to whatever tardy slips and low-grade papers remained in the year, or 2) figure out a way to make being at school feel meaningful again. With senior projects, our senior play, and many more challenges ahead, I had no choice but to begin an attack plan.
So, after nearly six months of consideration, I present to you my battle strategy. At times when driving to class feels like a Herculean trial, these help make each school day less bitter. I hope they can help you, and delay the symptoms of senioritis until you too can walk across that stage with a diploma in hand.
Top Five Tips for Crushing Senioritis
1. Make/Bring/Eat Food that you Love
Last week, I had a really devastating Calculus test that overshadowed the whole day, essentially ruining any chance of having a nice time at school. My only saving grace was the lunch I packed. I love sushi, and the night before, I picked up a small tray of tuna rolls and assembled just about the cutest bento box ever. It sounds silly, but the food I made for myself felt soothing on a day when I really needed a pick-me-up. Whatever your sushi is, whether smoothies or sub sandwiches, I recommend taking 20 minutes at night to put together a meal that will give you a therapeutic break from the turbulent school day.
2. Sleep, Goddammit
On days when I haven’t slept well the night before, I’m always a little more short with people, which in turn stresses everyone else out, leading to an uncomfortable and unnecessary level of anxiety all around. Tense exhaustion isn’t exactly the best atmosphere for healthy relationships, especially when you’re sleep-deprived to boot.
3. Make Summer Plans
Even though it’s February, I know we’re all thinking about summer. Though that might make you want to ditch school more, there’s a smarter way to acknowledge impatience: make plans! Plan outings, Google activities, put that desire into arranging your summer months in advance. That way, when June rolls around, you’ll be able to jump right in with only a swimsuit and a travel itinerary. Whether you’re traveling abroad or staying local, you can maximize the fun by getting a jump on your summer plans. (Psst - I know covid is making travel plans a shaky uncertainty, but planning them all the same can be really therapeutic. Things might change due to travel restrictions etc., but give yourself some hope.)
4. Just Don’t Get in Trouble, Man
I ﬁnd that senioritis hits hardest when I’m being lectured. It feels demeaning, in a way, that I’m a nearly legal adult with almost-freedom, and someone wants to have a serious discussion about why my expired parking pass is causing the breakdown of modern society. The best way around this situation, I’ve found, is to keep it from happening. Stay out of trouble, and you won’t have to suffer the indignity of a disciplinary meeting.
5. Enjoy the Little Moments
Maybe it’s just because I’m a nostalgic person, but I can’t stop thinking about how much of an end this is. I know, I know, it’s also a beginning - of something new and of the rest of my life - but that doesn’t help with the heart-heavy sadness that overcomes me when I think about how long I’ve been on this journey. I’ve known some of my classmates since we were toddlers, and others for less than a year, but we’ve all been through so much together. If you take a second to appreciate everything that’s led up to this year, it’s a pretty good momentary cure to the senior scaries.