Why I Chose to Stay All Day Senior Year
(and the lessons I’ve learned so far)
February 4, 2019
“You stay ALL DAY and you’re a SENIOR?”
I always get some variation of this response when people find out that I stay at school until 3:45 every day. Because seniors have the opportunity to take only two classes each semester, many of them leave school at 11:55. I don’t blame the seniors that leave early. The decision to stay was not an easy decision for me, but there are some lessons that I would have never learned if I chose to do what everyone else was doing. I ended up choosing the road less traveled by… And guess what, Robert Frost fans? That HAS made all the difference.
There are so many reasons why I chose to stay all day. Firstly, I didn’t have a job lined up. Many seniors are getting out of school early because they are saving up money for the next chapter of their lives, which is great. I thought about looking for a job, but I knew that, for me, it would be better to take some more AP classes and save money for college in a different way. I’m taking three AP classes this year– AP Calculus, AP Lit, and AP Physics– and I’m hoping to save money by passing those exams.
Another unique reason that I stayed was so I could keep taking Yearbook/Newspaper class. That class is during the third block, so I would have to leave at 1:30 (which is pretty much 3:45). I have been a part of the publications staff since sophomore year, and it didn’t seem right to drop it just because I wanted to take a few more naps during the weekdays. I also stayed because of my sisters, who are freshmen at Wade Hampton. I am responsible for taking my sisters home from school. Hypothetically, if I HAD chosen to leave at 1:30, I would just have to turn around and come right back to pick them up. It just makes sense for me to stay all day.
Now that I have one semester under my belt, I can talk about how this decision impacted me. THE CONS:
- The absolute hardest part of this whole staying all day thing was the limited time I had to do college applications. I applied to eight colleges and didn’t finish everything until early January. Practically all of my friends finished in October! It was hard to give up doing fun things on the weekends throughout the fall to do college apps because I had spent the weekdays doing homework.
- I am just getting around to finding scholarships.
- Now that I have three AP classes at once, I struggle to find time to get everything done. I have to choose which classes to focus on every night, and it seems like I suffer in whatever class I didn’t choose. On the second week of the second semester, I got a 78 on a math test because I decided to do my AP Lit assignment and work on my first physics lab report that I wanted to do well on.
- I am seriously sleep deprived. Pretty much every week.
- I haven’t caught senioritis yet. If I did, it would be fatal for me. I’m still as hard working as ever.
- I get to learn new things every day because I’m taking classes about stuff I’m genuinely interested in. I am preparing for the rigor of college classes.
- I have greatly improved my time management skills.
If you’re reading this, your circumstances are probably different than mine. Don’t choose your path based on how mine is going. I can’t definitively say that getting out after second block is a terrible decision for everyone or that it’s a great one. All I can do is share my experience and hope that someone learns from it. Staying all day has made my life difficult, but I think it is ultimately worth the struggle. An unconventional senior year for an unconventional senior girl.