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Second semester senior year proves harder than expected

Second semester seniors socialize and complete homework in the senior lounge. Photo by Sammy '12.

“I always thought that senior year here meant that I took three classes and spent the rest of the day at home chilling,” Libby ’12 said. “But, nope. I was wrong.”

Every Marlborough girl dreams of her second semester senior year. After four to six years of late nights, coffee breaks, blanket-wrapped mornings and college applications, second semester is, to seniors everywhere, the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, the Class of 2012 has discovered that the “senior-year slump” they expected has been more of a myth than reality.

On, “senioritis” is defined as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude.” However, this definition doesn’t accurately describe the experience of many current Marlborough seniors.

“I never thought that seniors did any work,” Sammy ’12 said. “That is definitely not the case with me.”

Many seniors said they have found that, despite the absence of college applications, second semester requires the same amount of work and effort as the first, so girls are unable to slack off.

Science Department Head Jennifer Garrison-Ross said she has not noticed a significant change in the work ethic of the Senior Class, but she continues to push her students to work hard.

“Life is full of learning and transitions – you can’t stop learning just because a change is about to take place,” she said, adding that she enjoys being with the seniors in her AP Environmental Science class and doesn’t want that time to go to waste just because the year is nearing a close. Other teachers echoed her sentiment.

In May 2006, Time Magazine published an article describing how schools could combat the onset of senioritis, offering suggestions such as enrolling seniors in internships that keep them motivated by allowing them to explore their passions, dual-enrollment programs on college campuses that offer a sneak preview of the higher-education experience and tests designed to alert those likely to have trouble keeping up in college. The magazine found that the best cure for senioritis is to assign more work for students to keep busy and interested.

“I think it’s all about the attitude,” Lauren ’12 said. “You can slack off and not care about the work, or you can keep putting a lot of effort into your classes. It’s really all about how you look at second semester, because the work itself isn’t any easier.”

Most seniors said they have found that slacking off is easier said than done.

“It’s been ingrained in us since the beginning to work hard,” Libby said. “At this point, I thought I wouldn’t care if I didn’t get good grades, but I still care. The workload itself isn’t that difficult, but it’s so hard to stick with it.”