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Don’t skip the fine print: first semester senior year is a bear

Talia Moskowitz ’24
A grueling obstacle looms between seniors and their future beyond Staples High School: first semester of senior year.

The final push of a race can sometimes be the hardest. The finish line is in sight, yet so far away. Also, there are potholes, fire ants and other untamable objects standing in your way. At least, that’s what the first semester of senior year feels like. 


Senior year is meant to be the cure-all salve for overworked juniors. ‘Just get through junior year’, they say, and senior year is a breeze. This grand claim, however attractive, has students failing to read the fine print written in the description of their senior year: first semester grades matter. While junior year is a slow, agonizing marathon, the first semester of senior year is a painful sprint, one that leaves students with both metaphorical and literal shortness of breath and exhaustion. 


I’ve heard it from my classmates already: the combination of college applications and a heavy workload has made senior year the hardest so far and much more challenging than their junior years. 


Some of this pain is self-inflicted. It’s a run-of-the-mill story where a student will give themselves  the most challenging workload their senior year, banking on the fact that they only have to scrape by for one semester. 

With one proverbial foot already out the door, the first semester tests your strength like no other. You don’t have the luxury of the rest of the year to balance out a test gone totally wrong. Every assignment could be the last of its kind, yet it stamps the gradebook like a tattoo.

— Talia Moskowitz ’24


This hard fact of senior year toils with students’ brains. On one hand, seniors come to realize the trivial nature of letter grades and Schoology assignments, imagining their life outside of the four walls of Staples High School. On the other hand, fantasies of adulthood and the graduation of adolescence are waiting patiently behind one door, first semester grades. 


I have fallen victim to these specific devils and angels sitting on my shoulders. I often want to blow off homework in a class with a teacher that I know won’t check whether or not I’ve done it. I should be outside, relishing in my last fall in my hometown. I’ll only be here a couple more months, after all! Then I come back to reality. The next thing I know, I’m hunched over my desk taking notes on Spanish conquistadores. 


I digress, the stressed importance of the first semester may only be understood by the population of the senior class that is arguably overzealous about their college admissions. I would sheepishly lump myself in with this category. 


Yet, there is hope. I’d advise all of my fellow seniors to embrace the final push of their secondary education. Be grateful for your woes, as you’ll never have them again.

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About the Contributor
Talia Moskowitz ’24, Web Managing Editor
Whether she serves as president and founder of the ASL club and or inspires as a captain of the girls’ soccer team, web managing editor Talia Moskowitz ’24 enjoys to lead.  “I love being a part of the Staples community,” Moskowitz said. “I’m on a bunch of sports teams and involved in a bunch of clubs, so I just love being engaged with the school.”  Moskowitz joined Inklings because she loves to write. However, that is not what convinced her to return year after year.   “Seeing your article posted online can make people feel really good about themselves,” Moskowitz said. “I love to be a part of that.”

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