I’m fading, and I’m fading fast.
I’m three out of four years, seven out of eight semesters, and 117 out of 128 weeks done with high school.
I remember when the countdown to graduation first began. The class of 2015 had just graduated, we were the new seniors on the block, and everything seemed promising. Saying “we’re graduating in 364 days!” seemed amusing to us because it seemed so far away; not real enough to really care, but close enough to hope. Now, here we are, filling out graduation forms, registering for graduation, sending in yearbook pictures and choosing senior quotes, and the prospect of graduating seems so real.
Yet oddly still so far.
It’s the oxymoronic phrase that has long been the bane of my existence: “so close, yet so far”. It seems unfair, high school’s last big prank on us students—getting us so close to taste the end, but still leaving us so far that we have to work for it.
The temptation now is to just give up. It’s not necessarily a full and total giving up, since we’ve come much too far to let our GPAs tank and our high school careers to plummet. It’s more of a “stop trying” kind of attitude, where in a world without repercussions we’d skip class and sleep all day and go to Starbucks every four hours and do all the things and have all the fun adventures we’ve always wanted to do in the last six months before we leave home.
The effects of this second-semester slump are becoming strikingly evident in everything. It’s evident in the sheer amount of passive aggressive smiley faces sent and received on a daily basis between seniors, in the number of times they complain about how they can’t wait to graduate, how they aren’t in the mood to deal with homework, and how they laid down for a 20-minute nap and instead slept for five hours.
This spectrum of senioritis, from the complete and utter not caring about high school to the “still does homework on time but without happiness and enthusiasm” is evident in nearly the entire grade, even in those good students with perfect GPAs and perfect participation grades who do their homework three days before they’re due.
After three years of college prep, after seven semesters of keeping pristine high school track records, after 117 weeks of preparing for and taking numerous standardized tests, the desire to stop trying is overwhelming. But it must be resisted.
I’m on my third time-management/homework system in the past four months. My life somehow is more structured and less stressful than ever, but it seems to take more willpower to get things done. Homework gets finished, but with less enthusiasm and less interest than it ever has. Going to class is more of a necessary evil to finish the semester with good grades than actually for the joy and purpose of learning new material.
I’m glad my weeks have become habitual. Going to bed, waking up, class, work, homework, and karate have all become so repetitive that I can go through my week without a second thought. Monday becomes Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then the process repeats again.
In ninety-six days we will be standing, shoulder to shoulder, in our blue caps and gowns, saying things like “I’m going to miss you all so much” and “I can’t believe we made it” and whatever other cliché yet admittedly heartfelt phrases are usually said at graduations. In ninety-six days it will be over and we will be talking about where we’re going off to college and how much we’re going to keep in touch and all of the other things normally said at the end of this phase in life. And in ninety-six days, this whole motivational slump will be over.
But we still have eleven weeks of school to go.