Underestimating the Challenges of Senior Year

That junior year is the hardest is gospel truth for many students, but the idea may underestimate the difficulties of being a senior.

By Ashton Walker

“Where are you going for college?’ “What do you plan on doing?” “How are you going to pay for it?” These are all the generic questions frequently asked to high school juniors and seniors. For as long as my brain can recollect, junior year has been looked at as the hardest year of high school. With the start of dual enrollment, ACT/SAT eligibility, and college advertisements being shoved down everyone’s throats, I do agree junior year can be daunting.

But maybe we’re wrong. Academically, I do believe junior year was my hardest year of high school. But what I don’t think we shine the light on enough is the emotional stress put on high school seniors. Sure, I might have a lighter load of classes senior year, but my junior year I never had to think about moving out and on.

Along with the stress, no one prepares you to say farewell to certain relationships you’ve formed, teachers who have impacted you, and clubs you’ve participated in. No one, no matter how calming or reassuring, can prepare you for the way life hits throughout the year.

As a senior you’re forced to come to terms with yourself.

For myself, having to attend my senior night for soccer was more emotional than I’d imagined. In the weeks leading up to it I’d told myself over and over, “You’re not going to cry, hold it together, you’ve got this, it’s three minutes of your life.” But the moment I saw my parents walking over to me, the tears started to flow. You don’t realize everything you’ve put into your passions until they’re over. Soccer was that to me. For fourteen years I’d played the beloved game, and everything I had put into it was brought to mind that night.

Overall, as a senior you’re forced to come to terms with yourself. Many things you’re a part of come to an end, and it’s up to you to deal with the emotional baggage strung along with it.

But despite all of the negative, senior year is also one of the best.  Many of your teachers have a special respect for you and can provide much needed advice. You get privileges freshmen can only dream of, and you’re one step closer to being an adult. No ACT score can take that away from you.

Photo: the seniors from the girls’ soccer team