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HUMOR: “Dear Kenny” Solves Senioritis

Hailey Spaeth

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This year the Scroll is launching a new advice column, featuring Country Day’s Student Council Treasurer, math extraordinaire, and overall favorite person, Kenny Wang. Send any questions you have for him to [email protected] This week, Kenny was asked how to deal with college applications, and how to defeat senioritis. 

These two questions may seem different, but they are quite related. If you’re not a procrastinator and don’t have senioritis, you’ve won and I have nothing to say.

To set the scene:

A hypothetical senior gets home one pleasant autumn evening after a long day of school, just wanting to relax. They view an episode of Game of Thrones on Netflix, play some Pokemon, or do whatever they do to chill.

“Easy,” they think. “I’ll just do my homework after dinner.”

However, after dinner passes by, the student still does not start their homework.

“I’ll die if I don’t watch the Seventeen Funniest Fails of 1989 at this very moment,” they insist.

Time does not stop, and one video flows into another. One glance at a cute dog picture becomes a crusade for all adorable animals in existence. One Netflix episode becomes a marathon. Swept into an Internet whirlpool, the student does not come to their muddled senses until approximately 267 minutes later when they are watching “Bee Movie” but without any bees.

“How could this happen to me,” they think. “I should’ve been working on those practice problems so I don’t fail the SAT test. I could be working on my essays for colleges A through H right now.”

Still, they finish watching “Bee Movie”, but without any bees, before they start their homework, bleary-eyed. Next day, they show up to school with bags under their eyes like tree rings, with one additional ring for every hour of sleep that they’ve missed. This can continue for weeks upon weeks.

That is basically what senioritis is. A force so ethereal, yet so mesmerizing. Some people experience this dreadful condition prematurely, believing that when they become seniors their senioritis will become acceptable, perhaps that senior year will be the easiest year of all. Unfortunately, that is simply untrue. Just when they believe they’ve overcome the trials of the junior paper and entered the promised land, they’re thrown into a fighting ring and thrashed by first semester classes, exams, and college essays.

Eventually, a speckle of hope approaches with winter break, bringing with it glimpses of senior privileges and college acceptance letters. I wouldn’t know what that hope is, but second semester is the true promised land.

To answer the questions directly:

I don’t believe that there is any general answer on how to deal with senioritis.

In theory, it shouldn’t be that difficult to just start your college essays instead of procrastinating. But it really, really is, because procrastination feels really, really good. You can look up some guide or video on how to stop leaving work until the last minute, but your own mindset is key. Advice doesn’t work if you procrastinate the advice away too. You need to want to accomplish your goals. Personally, what has (kind of) worked for me is thinking about the consequences of my actions. A good senior year is still important in the college application process. If I don’t try my best, I know I won’t be happy with myself if I fail.

As with any other task, the best way to do a good job during college application season is to start early (in this case, even as early as summer break.) Even just looking at the application questions will help, because these questions are those heavy, soul-searching, “what-is-the-meaning-of-your-life” type of questions. You can get an existential crisis from every essay prompt.

I’ve said a lot of things, but the most important thing is to not stress out. Don’t panic about college applications, because as teachers and counselors will repeat over and over, where you go to college will not define your life or your worth as an individual.

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HUMOR: “Dear Kenny” Solves Senioritis