Caitlin Grey is a senior at Alameda High School in Alameda, California. For almost four years, she's been reporting and writing commentaries for Youth Radio-Youth Media International , a Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company in downtown Oakland. She is very passionate about the environment, and is president of the environmental club at her high school. Caitlin recently traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Fifteenth Conference of the Parties as one of eighteen national delegates for the Sierra Student Coalition. She enjoys writing, art, the outdoors, and music festivals.
Being a second semester senior is not nearly as exciting as I thought it would be.
Part of me expected the Monday after fall semester finals to be completely different — like only 4 kids to showing up to class, "NO HOMEWORK!" written in huge letters on the board, and incessant pizza parties. Instead, I was shocked by the fact that really nothing had changed at all. We had just as much homework in every class, teachers were lecturing just as long, and everyone was in their seats.
The eyes of the students were a little less bright, texting was a bit more rampant, and a general vibe of "meh" permeated throughout each classroom. But my classes are definitely not letting up.
However, becoming a second semester senior has shifted the way I feel about school (and life in general). I still do everything I did first semester but with a little less gusto. "I'll be gone in 7 months anyways!" has become my excuse for just about everything. I feel like a marathon runner who is so close to the finish line, but instead of sprinting to the end, has just started walking.
I've noticed the trend in my friends too. Picture-perfect 5.0 students — who are all varsity soccer team captains and presidents of clubs — skipping class! They've planned their whole academic lives just so they could put these activities down on their transcripts, and now they're embracing their second semesters like it's the afterlife.
Throughout high school, I've made a point of only participating in activities that I care about, which makes second semester pretty much just like all the rest. So I soldier on (although with a little less umph).
Most college applicants write about their love of learning and how they are self-motivated students, but to me, slacking off in the second semester makes us hypocrites. And who wants to be a hypocrite? But the second I start to feel bad about it, I remember "I'll be gone in 7 months anyways!"