High School: Debunking the Fantasy



When Walter Kirn described the typical senior year for an average American high schooler, he made references to movies and generalized it, labeling it as “a do-little sabbatical…a spree…an adolescent Mardi Gras.”

While Kirn may view high school life as such, I believe that the idea of a relaxing senior year is outdated. There are many stressful events going on during this crucial year. Some students may struggle to juggle college applications, AP classes, and regular school work at the same time.

College applications are a crucial point in time for some students. They must make sure that their apps are completed and filled out. If not done correctly, their admission status could be delayed.

Many continue to study in AP classes not only for the challenge or opportunity to gain knowledge, but for financial reasons. As one student said, “I’m taking [AP tests] because I’d like to receive college credit for my classes…It helps save time and money!” By working towards early college credits, these students are shown to be thinking about their future already, rather than lazing around and celebrating a supposed “game that has already been won,” as Kirn believes. According to the College Board, the organization that runs the AP program, 905,495 12th grade students took AP exams in 2015, outranking all of the other grade levels in participation. While this data does not represent most high school students, it does refute the fact that many seniors do not use their last year of high school to goof off.


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