I don't know why I said "for some reason." I know the reason. It's my senior year. "Senioritis" is a real phenomenon, and I'm fighting it. Usually, at the beginning of each school year, I'm extremely organized. I have all my binders for my classes in order. I have notebooks assigned to each class. I know what I'm doing and what assignments are due every day in every class. Yet, this year, I haphazardly throw a few notebooks in my backpack and my main concern is to not forget my keys or my Kashi granola bar.

This has been the hardest back-to-school ever for me. Against my will, I have adopted a nonchalant attitude toward my last year of school. What's hard is having to sit patiently in my seat all year in classes that I don't care about (even if they are interesting) while my mind wanders to where I could be and what I could be doing a year from now.-- Laurel Popplewell, Madison H.S.

Going back to school senior year was the worst. Having spent the summer camping out on the beach, going wakeboarding with friends, and having a good time, the prospect of another year of homework and teachers was disheartening. To add on to injury, seniors have that little nuisance called college applications to look forward to. For me, "senioritis" began the moment my junior year ended. I knew the worst was over. I spent the summer celebrating; although my family didn't go on a vacation, spending the summer in La Jolla was not a poor second choice. Beach during the day, festivities at night...my friends and I kept ourselves entertained throughout the summer.

And then, suddenly, it was September. Being seniors, none of us bought school supplies because we had accumulated so many binders and pens that Staples would be proud. What I did do, however, was shop for clothes. Shopping is my therapy because when I shop, I forget about all other less important things I have to do (such as homework and college applications). Because all I wore over the summer was a bathing suit and miniskirt, I bought a more appropriate wardrobe before the start of the academic year. I made sure to avoid several items whose popularity had diminished their appeal, such as oversized sunglasses and striped shirts.

This year has been difficult for me because I was misled by the assumption that senior year is easy, as grades are insignificant. This is a lie. Not only do colleges look at senior grades, but at classes as well. Consequently, I am currently buried under piles of homework from two AP and two college classes. It has been a nightmare when combined with the approaching application deadlines.

The only beacon of light at the end of a dark and narrow tunnel is the idea of second semester. Once first semester is over and applications are filled out by the end of December, every senior can breathe a sigh of relief. Second semester of senior year really is the time when we can relax academically and enjoy our last year. Second semester is a time of prom, senior pride, and, finally, graduation. It is this bright light that keeps me from hurling myself out of a window each time I begin typing a college essay.-- Jennie Matusova, La Jolla H.S.

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