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So they said senior year was going to be easy…

jonathan trinh…But it turns out to be quite the contrary. All of the hype and raving energy that past seniors exemplified and boasted to the underclassmen turns out to be a false misconception — at least from my current experience.

Walking from the World Affairs Council building in downtown San Francisco the other week testified to my growing understanding that Senior Year is not as fun, exciting, or easy as others had told me. I find myself more occupied and stressed than any other year of high school, in fact. How can a senior high school student find the time to really focus and excel in every facet of academics when college applications and extra curricular activities are beckoning for attention? That isn’t the ideal definition of “the best year of your life.”

With college applications on the lips of everyone around me, there is a sense of urgency and desperation to cram in every last extra curricular activity, score well on standardized tests, and write the “perfect” personal statement. How others seem to be focused on college and balance other school work is beyond me. Personally I am managing four advanced placement classes, rehearsals for a school play, cross country running, my work with the World Affairs Council organization, and completing college applications.

Teachers are not bending their class courses in empathy. College deadlines aren’t going to change. And days will not become longer. Is this how senior year is supposed to be? One could put the blame on me for electing to be engaged in all of these responsibilities, which is partly true, but where’s the fun in life?

All seniors understand that their last year of high school will be the best, but is it a fluke to tell underclassmen this? Or do they have to wait until after submitting college applications for the excitement to start? But then the admittance and/or rejection letters come a short few months afterward, and I can only imagine the renewed stress that comes with that.

Jonathan Trinh is a senior at Skyline High School.

Jonathan Trinh

  • Debora

    “This is the best year of your life” is a phrase adults like to say because while you’re stressed – very stressed, it’s different from working one or two jobs, paying the bills. Make no mistake about it – this is not the best time of your life, it is stressful. And, it’s a realitively short period of extreme stress.

    Please make time to make your essay shine, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but the people reading the essay really, really want to know you. They want to find a “fit” for the school and for you. Show yourself, your best self, your genuine self.

    Life will be full of these critical deadlines – that short, intese sprint to the finish line. So when we adults say, this is the best year of your life, we are looking in hindsite, the way you would look at a kindergartener putting on a puppet show and remembering how fun and easy it was to talk in front of a group, before you began to feel uneasy.

    Congratulations on your senior year and good luck and good writing to you. We would love to see what you have to say.