The Reality of Senior Year

The Reality of Senior Year

As their final year of school proceeds, seniors often seem to feel a wide range of emotions: stress, anger, fear, relief, and excitement, to name a few. One of the causes for many of these emotions is the realization that, by definition, their childhood is ending and they will be independent in a few months’ time. 

Many feel that it comes out of nowhere as young adults realize that their time as a kid flew by and all that they’ve ever known is about to change. 

Although certain circumstances have caused different people to mature at different times, the fact remains that there is a universal feeling of terror during a student’s senior year.

These feelings can present themselves in a multitude of ways: waking up 3 hours before an alarm goes off and pondering all that one has to complete, stressing obsessively over college applications, or thinking about the serious implications of childhood coming to a close. 

Students can feel numb or distanced like they’ve been removed from their bodies as they go about their day. 

The constant spiral of stress and fear can dominate a student’s mindset, as it often does during this time of life. 

It seems that we forget how young seniors are and how much is put onto them: At the mere ages of 17 and 18, there is immense pressure to know what one wants to do with their life. With adults hounding them with the questions of “Where do you want to go to college?” or “What will you major in?” or “What career path do you want to enter?” Many seniors feel pressure to have their entire lives planned out before their brain is even fully developed. 

Between all the work there is to complete and the questions that need answering, seniors have little time to think to themselves. But when they do, it can result in a further spiral towards stress and anxiety when thinking about how far they’ve come in such a small amount of time, but how inconsequential it seems compared to how much left there is to go and all that still needs to be done. 

Additionally, social pressures put on high schoolers can be rough. Students are often insecure and unsure of themselves, resulting in even more pressure to fit in. Pressure to go to parties and make friends before they leave their hometown forever is real, and on top of all the academic stress, it can result in serious unhappiness in seniors.

Of course, senior year can be fun too. There is little doubt that many students begin to come into their power as they reach graduation, but that doesn’t excuse the reality of how hard it can feel to accomplish all the tasks they are given. 

Senior year can be a rollercoaster of emotions for any student, but it’s important to realize how much seniors have on their shoulders, along with the fact that they have to process the end of their childhood. It has the potential for so much fun, but also the sad and terrifying reality of moving on to new things for the first time in someone’s life.