Image from Pexels.

Image from Pexels.

Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.

In my entire high school career, I have never had a burnout. Sure, I’ve stayed up until 2 a.m. doing homework once or twice. I’ve freaked out, thinking I could never come up with an original thesis statement for The Great Gatsby. I’ve had nights where I didn’t think it was humanly possible to finish all my homework without, like, seven hundred cups of coffee and my own sylph. But I’ve never had a bonafide, so-tired-I-could-die, rather-drop-out-than-finish-this-essay burnout.

I’ve been able to avoid a catastrophic power failure due to one vehement, ever-present goal burning inside of my soul: college. For the past four years, college has been the shining beacon of hope, my green light at the end of the dock (maybe that’s what I should have written my Gatsby essay about). College was my main, and at times, my only motivation for staying committed to school.

Which is why my early decision acceptance is sort of a problem.

You see, from my college-centric perspective, I’ve won. I’ve beat high school, and I’d like to move on to the next level, please. And because this notion has seeped its way deep into my mind, I’ve kind of been shirking my responsibilities. I skim the English reading, I spend my study halls looking at pictures of cool dorm rooms, and, full disclosure, I did not start this article until the day before it was due. Now, don’t get me wrong, this behavior is by no means uncommon; senioritis is a highly contagious affliction that infects even the best students.

Except here’s the problem: I’m not done yet—not even close. I still have my senior thesis, my senior internship, and three AP tests to worry about, let alone my extracurricular obligations. It’s like I’ve just defeated Grendel, and even though his mother’s still screwing everything up, I’m just like, “nah, I’m too tired. I’d rather eat cheese puffs and take another nap.”

Clearly, my preconceived ideals do not align with the actual obstacles that in front of me. Senior year is not the fun-filled breeze that high school stereotypes suggest, and teachers really don’t care that you’ve already mentally moved on to college life. Furthermore, the threat of rescinded admission looms perpetually on the horizon—watching, waiting (“Two C’s, any D, any F,” I chant to myself as I sluggishly study for my chem test).

To any freshmen, sophomores, and juniors reading this, I implore you not to regard college acceptance as the be-all, end-all to your high school experience. I know it can be tough to find any other reason to show up to class, especially when you’re getting the school-college-job-retirement attitude forced down your throat on a regular basis. But, if you can, try to look for other sources of motivation.

Take classes that interest you whenever possible. Recognize the value of learning a foreign language, and of understanding math/science concepts. Not to get all Carl Sagan-y on you, but it can be really cool and fulfilling to learn stuff about how the world works. If there’s anything at all that you truly enjoy learning about, that makes you feel happy and impassioned, put your energy into that. If I were to do it all over, for instance, I would focus more on developing good writing skills and learning about literature. Try finding that thing you love, and make it your driving force for getting through high school rather than the prospect of higher education. That way, you won’t have such an intense feeling of “doneness” when the acceptances start rolling in.

But if you’re a senior and the slack-off mentality has already taken hold, don’t get too bummed.  You’ve made it this far, and I have faith that you can pull through ’til the end of the year. Even if you need to spend some time procrastinating by picking out dorm furniture or planning senior pranks or not really doing anything at all, you can still hold on for these last few months. Graduation is right around the corner.

Want to commiserate with Celeste about senioritis? Send her an ask on her Tumblr and she’ll get back to you ASAP!

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the author

Celeste Barnaby is a senior at a tiny private school in Reno, Nevada, also known as the Neon Babylon. She has committed to attend Wesleyan University and plans to major in film studies (but she's keeping an open mind). When she’s not stressing out over her schoolwork or procrastinating said work, she enjoys horseback riding, writing macabre short stories, and shopping for flannels. You can observe her attempts at humor and various television-related obsessions on her Tumblr.

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