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February 23, 2016
By Caroline Williams, New Trier
I have always been a very motivated student. My friends would talk about arriving home from school and watching T.V. I found that bizarre. When school ended, I went straight home and started my homework. I did not watch T.V. or do anything else until my homework was complete. I am not saying my friends are slackers, or that I am better than they are. I am simply making the point that up until now, I had always been a very motivated and productive student.
I had heard myths about “senioritis.” My sister talked about it her senior year. Other New Trier students murmured about it, as well as seniors from surrounding high schools. I thought, “hey. It won’t happen to me. I am always super motivated. I enjoy learning! I will continue to work during my senior year.”
Looking back at former me, I chuckle. I am currently writing this, at 11:40pm on a Sunday. I have not started my English reflection due tomorrow. I have not started my math packet due tomorrow. I have not completed my French homework from Friday. I would still consider myself one of the more motivated seniors at New Trier. During my time as a “second semester senior,” I have learned how to compete my work to an acceptable standard in a ridiculously short amount of time. So, I still do my work. Many of my classmates have just decided to stop doing all of their work. They come to class with huge smiles on their faces but no work in their hands. These are not “slacker” students. They are all very intelligent, just burnt out.
As I speak to my friends, we joke about how little homework we all do. But it is honestly concerning. I seriously come home from school and do absolutely nothing. I have gotten through 9 seasons of Seinfeld in about 2 months. I recently started “Taxi,” per my father’s recommendation, and I am already on season two. I’d assume every high school is strenuous, but I can only speak from my own experience at New Trier. Teacher, parents and other students expect a lot from you. Four years of being involved in such a demanding environment is difficult. At the end of senior year, when students realize they are essentially done, they decide to be done that moment, as opposed to in a couple months.
I will continue to attend my classes and complete my work. Although I can say with certainty I will not be winning any schooling awards this year, I do plan on finishing with some dignity. I cannot say the same for many of my classmates. Each day I go to school, fewer seniors show up to my classes. They are all mysteriously sick one day, attending a doctors appointment the next, and obtaining a diagnosis on an injured fibula after that. Teachers are getting quite irritated that two thirds of their students are not completing assignments. I understand their frustrations, yet I want to somehow express to them not to take it personally. Four years of high school is a lot.
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