Students running low on motivation

Guy Burstein


It’s only half way through the year, and half the school is done learning. With college apps due early in the first semester, seniors are shutting down, getting lazy, and being infected with the most dangerous disease of all, “senioritis.” In the current system of college applications, deadlines tend to pop up towards the end of second semester, and for early action applicants, as early as October.

This means that many students, for over half of their senior year in high school, are essentially guaranteed a spot in their school of choice. Although students are technically admitted into their universities on a provisional basis, for the majority of students, this is an ignored technicality.

The vast majority of students allow their grades to drop at least somewhat, and many more entirely disregard academics after getting accepted. The concern is that now these studious students are transformed into lackadaisical, apathetic teenagers, affirming the common stereotype. This problem is even prevalent for more prestigious universities.

The UC system allows for students to drop their grades down to a 3.0 average during their second semester, considerably lower than the 4.0 and above grades required to get accepted into schools such as UC Berkeley or UCLA. Thus, almost encouraging students to not work as hard as they have been doing during their final high school semester. In fact, according to the Washington Post, even Harvard only rescinded one admission in all of 2008.

A simple solution would be to simply move back the application deadline. In many countries besides the United States, deadlines are only several months prior to the start of the college semester, not an excessive half a year. In fact for Spain, the deadline for the spring semester, beginning in February, is only one month in advance.

Even though Clark has tried to mitigate this problem, with assignments like the senior project, for most students, this is not enough. This one assignment does not do enough to motivate the students, especially as most are content with getting a C in their English classes anyway.

Unless changes are made to the college admissions system, seniors will continue to show their progressive laziness that begins once college applications are sent. If school policies do not change, then the system will continue to promote a lack of effort and a non-beneficial senior year.