Another spring break has passed here at KO. Once again we’re in the monotonous fourth quarter, as we begin to prepare for finals but mostly just anticipate the last day of school when we are finally freed from the routine and stress of the school year.
It seems like the people most ready to leave, though, are the seniors, who after almost four long years are excited to move on and begin a new chapter of their lives.
Despite only one more month left, seniors still have a surprisingly large amount of work to do. Senior Neil Hemnani attested to this and said that his workload has stayed the same since the fall. “I initially expected [in the spring] it would be lighter,” he said, “because the teachers would feel they wouldn’t need to give us as much work, since the end of the year is near.” Neil then said that he quickly realized his ideal thoughts were not the case at all.
Senior Gabrielle Ruban agreed. “The senior slide is completely a myth,” she said. “It’s more a reference to the students getting burnt out and having a hard time putting in the same effort after doing so for three and a half years, rather than a testament to teachers lightening up on workload.” Gabrielle also said this was especially true for honors and AP classes.
Although teachers are doling out the same amount of work, they’re not necessarily always expecting the same results back. Science Department Chair Fritz Goodman said that he does understand if seniors are not always putting their full effort into their work in the springtime. “Sometimes I might be in a position to understand seniors’ impatience, finishing one thing and going on to the next,” he said. “I see that they spend less time on their homework, and that’s kind of expected.”
Nonetheless, Mr. Goodman said that even though he is slightly more lenient about work ethic, he still holds seniors to the same high standard when it comes to behavior and core values. “I want the seniors to understand just how visible they are to younger students, and to know they make a big impression upon them,” he said.
Mr. Goodman went on to say that seniors are seen as role models for the other students and their behavior does not go unnoticed. “I do think that so far this year the senior class has done a good job representing KO’s core values, compared to last year’s senior class, which I was very disappointed in, especially in the spring,” he said.
Even though the workload remains relatively the same, Neil said he feels there is a lot less pressure compared to the fall. “I still try my best because I want to get good grades,” he said, “but my college acceptance isn’t dependent on them any longer, so I feel lighter and happier in general.”
Senior Ben Tauber agreed. “This school is pretty rigorous, so it’s been a big weight off my shoulders, and it’s relaxing for me now,” he said.
Senior Emma Smith also said the spring is easier for her because she does not need to worry as much. “In the fall, I had a lot of applying [to colleges] and writing to do on top of schoolwork, sports, and clubs,” she said. “There’s less expected of us in the spring, though, which I think is reasonable since the fall is crazy.”
Gabrielle said she thinks the amount of work that she did in her time at KO was definitely worth it, even during the spring of her senior year. “I think one of the most notable ways KO has prepared me for college is through the writing-intensive curriculum we have,” she said. “According to all of my alum friends, writing in college has been a breeze the first year or two because of the many essays they’ve written at KO.”
Neil agreed and cited the senior thesis as an important way that KO prepares students for college. “This thesis paper was such an independent project and took up a lot of time and effort,” he said, “but it really helped me to further develop my writing skills.” Neil added that he feels ready to go to college and said he can do well there because KO helped him so much.
Ben said he recommends that the incoming seniors stay positive and work hard, but not let themselves get inside their heads. “If you don’t get into your top school it’s okay; it’s just not meant to be,” he said. “Try not to stress yourself out too much, and just keep grinding through it.”
Emma agreed that it’s important to maintain a positive perspective. “Stay focused on what interests you, and don’t be completely grade-oriented,” she said, “because in the end it’ll work out and you’ll be okay.” She added that it is helpful to find different ways to save time, one possible way being to get a head start on college applications during the summer.
Overall, the seniors said they are relieved that high school is almost over and look forward to the next few weeks. “I’m just gonna hang out with my friends more because I have more time now,” Ben said. “I’m really going to enjoy my last month here.”
Similarly, Gabrielle said she is hoping to spend a lot of time with friends, family, and faculty. “Additionally, I’d like to make the most out of extracurriculars,” she said, “such as A Minute for Mental Health, the Musical Cabaret, and Oxfordians.” Meanwhile, Neil said he is excited for a fun senior prank, but is not sure of what else to expect. “Hopefully I’ll graduate, but I guess we’ll just see what happens,” he said.