Peninsula Views: Finding Grace

The Disease That Is High School



The urban dictionary defines it as “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, athletic shorts and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.”

Commonly, senioritis strikes halfway through the first semester of one’s final year of high school, while waiting for winter break to begin. In most cases, it will continue through the spring.
In my experience, senioritis isn’t due to school itself, but the surrounding environment. Teachers of seniors either are super laid back with “easy classes” or they will do all they can to make your last year a living hell.

But senioritis is ultimately caused by seniors being done with all of the BS that is high school. This includes both underclassmen seeming more irritating than previous years and teachers creating hostility in classrooms.

Or is it?

Outside the classroom one of the biggest questions I get is where will I be going after high school.

Honestly, I have no idea.

The pressure of deciding where to go to college is unreal. I have to choose one place that can easily set the course for the rest of my life. I know that it might be an easy decision for some, but I am completely drawing a blank in what I want to do. I don’t think I could say what I want to major in. It might be music, or it could be writing. But will one decision completely alter the world around me? I don’t know and that might be what I am scared of.

Senioritis has definitely slapped me right in the face. Many of my friends have noticed I don’t care as much about what I look like as I did in the past. At this point, if I am at school and engaged in class, everyone should be grateful.

However, some things are never enough. 

I might show up one day in sweatpants and a hoodie and everyone around me assumes I must be sad because I’m not all put together. But the fact is, honestly, I am done with high school. I absolutely love the people around me and I have always enjoyed learning. But school feels more like a prison now, somewhere I have to be when I would rather be doing anything else.

I have always been very passionate about music but always struggled to see myself as a good musician. I am thinking of majoring in music education and possibly minoring in some sort of writing (My editor says, “For the love of all that is sacred, save yourself and don’t do it!”). And recently I have visited the University of Montana and Washington State University, both for music. After working with professors who specialize in my instrument, sitting in on classes and working with world famous composers, the spark for music was reignited.

Despite senioritis and everything that is high school trying to hold me back, I imagine, I am very excited for what lies ahead. Graduation is like Christmas; the countdown begins, and I can’t wait for it to happen. But I do think senioritis itself is more of wanting to be on to the next step beyond high school, and getting tired of being expected to act like an adult but treated like a child. Senioritis is about wanting graduation to happen so we can continue our journeys and truly discover who we are.

Of course, it’s also about leaving. Maybe leaving something we love. A place, a time, a memory; even some part of ourselves. Maybe if we can feel irritated at it, put out, so done, maybe it’s easier to leave behind. 

I don’t think they taught us about that in high school. That’s at least one class I would’ve wanted to take in my senior year.

Grace Nesbit is a senior at Peninsula High School. She lives in Lakebay.