Should Boulder High Move Senior Week?

(From a struggling senior)


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Caption: The college application process can be extremely stressful and daunting.

As many high school seniors will tell you, the college app grind is no joke. On its own, the skeleton of the Common Application entails many arduous hours of self-reflection, stress, and thesaurus searches just to create a personal statement that is a genuine representation of the applicant. However, many colleges require more than just a personal statement- most require at least one supplemental essay. While a smaller word count may seem less daunting, having to explain why you want to go to your dream school, or a particular aspect of the college you are passionate about, in less than 200 words is god-awful.

Personally, trying to balance my academic workload and the application process has been a struggle. Many Boulder High seniors are taking a relatively rigorous course load that demands many hours of homework and studying each night, and others have jobs or extracurricular activities that may eat into their free time.

Boulder High has already allocated a “senior week”, a week at the end of May, where seniors don’t have to go to school (essentially creating a week-long extension on summer). But many universities start in mid to late September, making the placement of senior free week effectively futile.

 However, if it was moved to mid-October, mental health issues and feelings of too much stress and pressure may be mitigated. This way, many seniors would be able to focus solely on their applications before the deadline, without the preoccupation of schoolwork.

Senior Madelyn Hardee shares that the last month was extremely stressful. “Not only are you trying to prove to colleges that you are a qualified person through a 650-word essay, but you are also in the thick of senior year. There is seemingly never enough time to do it all, and when you decide to take a well-deserved break, you feel guilty. Other than ending one week early, there is really no point to this final week off. However, if it was moved to October during the peak of college application stress, it would help to lessen the seniors’ feelings of overexertion.”

Senior Sofia Trojanovich shares similar sentiments. “I personally believe that having senior week in May doesn’t make much sense; we’ve already done all the work we need to do so a week off doesn’t do much. Having senior week in October is like having a crutch for college. It not only gives kids a chance to get caught up but also a chance to take a breather.”

Senior week in May is supposedly used as a time for counselors to finalize transcripts. However, they can still do so with the senior class still attending school. Virtually all of the content in each class has been learned by this point, so no new grades would be altering transcripts much. Additionally, going to school during this week would give additional closure; seniors would be able to enjoy their final week at Boulder High and connect with their peers for the last time before graduating. By moving senior week to the middle of October, the free time would be used more effectively and would allow seniors to enjoy the learning process and balance the application process in a healthy and constructive way because they have the time to do so.