Shorter school days.
This isn't so much of a shock for those of you who are home schooled. When I was home schooled, at times I'd be done with my school day at nine or ten in the morning. But once I started school, I had to get used to eight hour days that seemed to drag on forever. When I became a senior, I had finished most of my high school credits, meaning I had only four classes and got off at noon. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling.
It was so strange to look around and realize that the underclassman had to stay in school for three and a half more hours than I did. It was strange to see everyone else studying for classes I didn't have at all (like math and electives). It was strange to see everyone hurrying to eat lunch in forty-five minutes, while I could take as long as I liked.
Believe me when I say that having a short day of school is wonderful. It might feel weird at times, but it's absolutely wonderful.
Senioritis is REAL.
I used to always listen to the seniors above me talk about how they had senioritis "sooooooo bad" and I would chuckle to myself and think, "Come on... that's just an excuse." But no. Senioritis is real.
Right after Christmas, you start to get these feelings of: I don't belong here. All of this is pointless. I'm already accepted into college anyways. Why learn any more of this nonsense? Why come to school? I NEED SUMMER! It's not good. It's apathetic. But those are very real feelings. It was a big struggle throughout my senior year to try to overcome that senioritis and continue to work hard at school. But I'm happy to say that I graduated with straight As, even through my senior year. Whew!
Teachers suddenly become much more lenient.
At my private school, all throughout high school, teachers were very personal in my life. I'm someone who tries hard to make good grades, so if I started to slip, they would immediately pull me aside and talk to me about what was going wrong. They'd push me when I struggled and try to give me harder and harder challenges. Once I became a senior, I noticed that a lot of the teachers would say things like, "Here, you're graduating in a couple of months, so just write me a quick paper" or "You can talk during class today. You're seniors, after all. Have fun."
I think this occurs for three reasons.
One, I think teachers start to feel like they can't teach a whole lot in a couple of months anyways... at least not much that will be remembered. This happens especially towards the end of the year. They've already gone through a lot of the books. We all are suffering from severe cases of senioritis. It can be difficult to think of things to teach.
Two, I think the teachers WANT us to have fun. This was our last year of high school. You're only a senior in high school once. Ever. I could tell that teachers would go out of their way at times to make sure we were making great memories. I'm truly grateful for that.
Three, I think everyone expects seniors to be difficult. "They're seniors" is a typical excuse I've heard. Seniors tend to be restless, easily distracted, and full of laughter and jokes. We're excited for the new year. I'm afraid that sometimes, adults use the fact that it's our last year as an excuse to be more lenient.
Emotions change on a daily basis.
I know I've written about this before, but being a senior truly is an emotional roller coaster ride. One day, I'm on a severe high of joy and excitement. The next, I'm scared out of my mind. And the day after that, I'm sad and tearful because I don't want to move away from everybody I love. There is a lot of change and anticipation of change your senior year. It can be difficult to understand and control everything you're feeling.
Perhaps my experience was a little different than others because I went through a few extra trials and changes this last year. I honestly believe the Lord was testing me and helping me to grow and mature so I would better be able to face the challenges I know are ahead of me my freshman year of college. I'm truly thankful for the trials I've had so far this year.
Suddenly everyone is friends.
Especially in early high school, everyone often splits into cliques. You have the mean girls and your enemies who you can't stand. There are arguments and cat fights and a little drama, depending on how you handle conflict. Senior year, it's like most of those conflicts are forgotten, especially towards the spring months.
Everyone is "one class" and absolutely HAS to keep in touch next year and we all have the same fears in common. I've noticed that towards the end of the year, everyone started going to lunch together and arranging pranks and nights of fun together and just making memories together as a class.
Even if you don't know someone very well, when graduation is looming near, it seems like everyone clings to each other, desperate to make friendships during these last few months.