Second semester seniors should stay focused

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Keith Stone co-editor-in-chief

The minute school let out on Dec. 16, seniors instantly felt a huge weight lift of their shoulders. In one minute, they transitioned from stressed out college applicants to second semester seniors without a care in the world. However, the classic uncaring attitude of seniors in their second semester needs to change. Not only is it harmful to their education, but it just generally negatively affects their future on the whole.

By the time second semester rolls around, most seniors have checked out. They’ve applied to all their schools and their grades really don’t matter (in their minds). However, they are shooting themselves in the foot with that attitude. Not only are they missing the chance to get AP credits by studying continuously throughout the year and doing well on their AP tests, but they are also missing out on completing their high school careers with dignity.

“To me, it’s just a waste. Why work incredibly hard for three and a half years and then just stop for one semester? Go all the way through and finish stronger than you started. I never was on cross-country but this is obvious: go to college having finished strong,” senior Xander Bienstock said.

The biggest reason to stay motivated and to stay focused is that some colleges actually do accept and require students to send in their second semester grades. If they end up on the waitlist, these grades will be crucial in their admissions process.

Even if students are not on the waitlist, they are still required to send in their second semester grades. If students have Ds on their transcript second semester or get grades that aren’t in keeping with the academic profile they have maintained for the last three years, they can have their admissions revoked.

“Even though I’m years away from being a senior, this is really obvious. What if you don’t get into your top choice school and you get waitlisted? Then, since you weren’t trying, to have to turn in bad grades to the school? You won’t get in! Just keep working hard, honestly,” sophomore Lily Yovetich said.

All in all, the benefits of simply putting in effort no matter the grade or semester is worth it. Checking out for 20 weeks isn’t as important as securing one’s future. There is also the fact that grades and scores are important to not only the individual student, but also to the school in general. Hardworking teachers in many classes, especially APs, spend the entire first half of the year preparing students for the AP test because AP scores matter to the school. It is simply not fair for the student to then not try at all and score poorly on the test.

“This is an easy choice,” Bienstock said. “Just keep working hard so that you can get the result out of your high school years that you want. Second semester you can have fun, but keep grinding.”

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