Vandegrift should establish “Senior Semester”


Nicholas Scoggins

A wall at Vandegrift High School showing where seniors will be going after high school.

Nicholas Scoggins, Staff Reporter

Boring, unnecessary, useless. These are all terms that seniors could use to describe their last semester of high school. This is due to a combination of the fact that many seniors have already been accepted into college and their classes still continue as if the seniors will be returning next year. The result is that many seniors become afflicted by a phenomenon known as “Senioritis,” and side effects include decreased motivation to get good grades and a general apathy towards school as a whole. Instead of forcing seniors, many of whom are already decided on their future plans, to learn generic stuff that they will forget a month after they graduate, shouldn’t Vandegrift establish a “Senior Semester” during which seniors would receive instruction on how to perform certain tasks, receive advice on what college or career experiences are like and how to succeed? If implemented, this would be a far better usage of senior’s time.

By focusing on learning information that will be actually useful to seniors post-high school, Vandegrift will better prepare its students for success once they leave campus for good. There are many critical things about daily life in college that are not taught in high school.  These include tips that seem insignificant, but that have a major impact on lifestyle in college: not leaving your laundry unattended while it is being used (or be prepared for your clothes to be stolen), not over-packing since you will be living in a small dorm, bringing items like an extension cord with multiple outlets and other tips. By learning these before they arrive on campus, rather than on the spot or through a third-party source, college students would have a much better chance of succeeding. Many students are also not aware that there are viable alternatives to college such as trade school, military enlistment or various programs offered by businesses not requiring a degree.

Another reason to make the last semester a “senior semester” is that the overwhelming majority of students are not going to be considering standard coursework their top priority. Instead students are going to be mostly focusing on preparing for the next chapter of their lives. Whether it be learning the ins and outs of the college they will be attending, searching for a career, or going through the process of joining the military, much of a senior’s time is going to be occupied. Thus, burdening them with loads and loads of classwork is going to hamper their success as they will be forced to split their efforts between two tasks.

While some might say that there is already enough work done by schools to prepare seniors in the form of college/job workshops and events with local employers, these events are not applicable to every student. In order to learn a trade or skill, you must be introduced to the subject matter repeatedly, and workshops and events held once a month are not enough. A dedicated semester to teaching seniors would be a far better way to prepare them for life after high school.

Thus, a “senior semester” for the final semester of their mandatory schooling would be of far better service to seniors as it would better prepare them for success after high school. In the end, it would be a far better use of their limited time. It would be the proper way to send off seniors who have been in the school system for over a decade and have worked hard to reach where they are.