The Home Stretch, Senior Slide, and a Short Rant

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:14 (NIV)

The Home Stretch. The school year is winding down, and as a senior, high school graduation is just around the corner. It almost doesn’t seem like it’s the end of the academic year—I feel like the season of fall leaves, cool breezes, brand new pens, and blank notebooks was just last week. I’m in the home stretch of the school year, but this time it’s a little different than the past twelve years of school: It is also the homestretch of high school itself. Even as I sit here—thinking about it and planning for it and getting extremely excited for it—it just seems so surreal to me. How could the whole school year have slipped by that quickly? I mean, sure, parts of it were slow, and there were weeks that seemed to drag on slower than a dead turtle. But all things considered, the year just flew by. I guess my dad was right (as he usually is) when he said not to blink.

In the grand scheme of life, high school graduation really isn’t a massive deal—I know that. It’s a milestone, yes, but it’s one of the smaller accomplishments in the long-run. (To be honest, I’ve never really fully understood why high school graduation is such a prodigious deal. Yeah, it was definitely a lot of hard work, but most people do it. Most people graduate high school. But oh well. You won’t hear me complaining when opening cards from my relatives.) Even though graduating high school won’t be the biggest ordeal of my life, it’s a pretty big thing at the present time, so I’ll focus on that for now—no use belittling exciting times because of other times that haven’t occurred yet.

Senior Slide. As of May 4th, 2015, I have fourteen days of high school left. (Well, technically 13 for me—there is no heavenly way I am returning to school after a three-hour AP English exam. Forget that.) That’s not long at all, yet there are so many things that have to happen in that compact span of time. And if there’s one idea I’ve personally proven about senior year, it’s that senior slide is 110% real. I’ve always worked pretty hard in school and earned pretty good grades, and I had a solid 4.0 for first and second quarter of senior year (my school does not weight our grades, so a 4.0 is the highest GPA achievable). But once third quarter hit, I’m not going to lie: my senior slide began, and it’s only getting worse. Now don’t get me wrong—it’s not like I’m morbidly failing any classes or saying a huge “screw it” to every single test or paper or assignment; I still have what most would consider to be “good grades.” They’re below average for me personally, but an A-average GPA isn’t really something others care to hear complaints about. I’ve had more late work than I ever have in high school, and sometimes I just don’t do my homework. I haven’t done as well on some tests recently, and my motivation to do productive things has lessened. That’s bad and I know it, but it’s ridiculously hard to stay focused when you’re fourteen days away from never having to spend another school day at your high school ever again.

A Short, Unplanned Rant. But as I said, I know that sliding straight out of the school year isn’t good, and the excuse of fourteen days isn’t a good one. I’m trying as hard as possible to finish the year strong, because I don’t really care for the impact of my semester one GPA of 4.0 to be at all denigrated because of a 3.7 (or something) for second semester. And before you roll your eyes and say, “That’s not even bad!” like just about everyone I ever talk to, a little disclaimer for ya’: I realize a 3.7 (or even a 3.6 or 3.5) is not a bad GPA, and to many people, even a 3.2 or something would be over-the-top stellar. But if you were used to getting 3.8-4.0s for most of your high school career, you would find a 3.6 to be disappointing, too. So to anyone who was planning to sarcastically mutter, “I love when people complain about their good grades!” (because multiple people have said that to me before)… Up yours, ya’ jerk. If you’ve ever said that to me and I haven’t decked you in the face, feel #blessed. I don’t get legitimately offended at many things (because I’m a pretty amiable person), but things like that are, quite frankly, just plain rude. Maybe you don’t fully get where I’m coming from, but there is no need to invalidate my feelings, because most people who make those comments to me complain about the exact same thing—they’re used to 3.4s, so when they get a 3.1, they vent about their bad grades. But across the room, someone with a 2.8 is rolling his or her eyes about a 3.1 being “bad.” In terms of grades, “good” and “bad” are somewhat subjective. I mean, I doubt anybody would argue that a 2.0 is a good GPA, but I think you get what I’m saying.

All right, well, that little rant wasn’t planned at all—it just kind of happened, and I change the post title to accommodate it. But regardless, I’m going to try as hard as I possibly can to not senior slide straight out of high school. Even if I’ve already screwed up my 4.0, I can still try to make up for it and earn as high of scores as I can. If you’re a high school senior, here’s a little advice, senior to senior: Don’t just ride out the rest of the school year under the excuse of senior slide. Take in all of the little things about high school, because I know I’ll miss some of them, and you likely will to. Work hard, make time for friends and family, and finish off the year strong. We’ve got this, class of 2015!

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