By: Darius Sinha ‘24
Senior year is undeniably hard, regardless of who you are and where you go to school.
The stress of college applications piles on top of all your regular classes, and it sometimes feels
like you’re perpetually behind, whether it’s that college supplement you haven’t finished or the
English essay due in two days that you (maybe) should’ve started last week. It can feel like
you’re juggling a million different balls that are going to define your life, at least for the next
four years. I’m not going to deny that senior year is important; it absolutely is. But we have to
remember to find ways to have fun and relax, even while it may feel like our future lives are on
the line. Professional jugglers—if they exist—need days off, too!
School can sometimes be isolating as well. Even though we’re all there together, we’re
usually focused on stressing over an upcoming test or thinking about all the college applications
we need to do. We interact with each other within the academic sphere and often don’t get to
enjoy each other’s company as friends. Present at times, as well, can be a perceived layer of
competition and secrecy surrounding where we’re applying or how we did on a test, which can
make us feel further disconnected from each other.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, though, a few friends and I made an effort to get
together outside of school and gathered to cook dinner. We came up with a list of dishes that we
were going to make, got the ingredients, and then gathered at one of our homes to do the
cooking. Our theme for the dinner was South/Central American food, and we decided on a
popular Brazilian dish and our friend’s grandmother’s empanada recipe. The food was great and
eating it was a delicious reward, but, more than the food itself, I enjoyed being in company with
my friends as we did something completely unrelated to school. We didn’t solve any calculus
problems, think about the mitochondria, or discuss conventional vs. regenerative agriculture, we
just relaxed, together. We got to step away from our juggling careers for a day and rejuvenate, so
when we inevitably do have to go back to juggling our busy academic lives we can do so feeling
more connected and energized.
What I’ve learned is that making empanadas with friends, going to McDonalds on a
whim for ice cream, or even just spending time together at school during your free time can
make senior year all that more bearable. After all, in a few months we’re going to be walking the
graduation stage and our lives are going to diverge into our own unique paths. Best to make an
effort to connect while we still have the opportunity, as hard as it may be to close that textbook
or stop studying. My message to future seniors (whether you’re a junior now or have a few more
years to go) is to take care of yourselves. Find the things that make you happy and celebrate
them, even while things are stressful. We may be juggling a million things, but we can take a
step away every once in a while, to reset and spend time with friends even as we’re all immersed
in the busy school year.