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Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Senior Year Struggles

The Hidden Truth of Senior Year

Senior year: what is considered to be the most memorable year throughout high school. More privileges, more events, and the most fun. All I ever hear from anyone is that my senior year will be the best yet, and I will look back fondly on this time in my life when I’m older. I’d like to think this is true. Based on my first semester, I’ve gotten to have flexibility with my schedule, hold leadership roles, and wrap up my golf career. Yet no matter how many times I’ve convinced myself otherwise, I can’t help but realize that my senior year has been the hardest one yet.

Course Load

Before my senior year, I was always under the impression that it was supposed to be fun, meaning my schedule should reflect that view. As some would say, my year is supposed to be a “blowoff” so that I can have time to do all of the other fun stuff. Contrary to what the stereotype is, my senior year schedule has been the most taxing in terms of workload, time management, and critical thinking. I took seven classes this semester: Theory of Knowledge, DP European History HL, DP Language and Literature HL, Novel, Acorn, AP Statistics, and DP Environmental Systems and Societies SL. That’s a lot of abbreviations. The most college-level courses I had taken in one semester prior to this one was three, making my total nearly doubled. I found that while last year my homework was much more manageable, this year I find myself sacrificing my time to complete work instead of going out and having fun. I’ve had weekends where I was glued to the table and my backpack, taking breaks only to sleep. This schedule has been the most rewarding of my years in high school, but it has also been the most mentally draining. I don’t regret the classes I’ve taken, but I wish more could understand the stress that comes with a courseload such as mine.

Extra Curriculars

Although nothing about the number of my extracurriculars has changed due to my senior year, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s been hard to maintain them all. I play soccer for both my club and high school team. I am a part of the varsity golf team, as well as the National Honor Society and Student Representative Council. While I  do love them all, it can be very time consuming when trying to give my all to each of the groups. It’s very hard to maintain them all equally when many overlap. I’ve had to make sacrifices to attend to certain groups over others. The golf team, for example, runs during the fall time; this overlaps with my club soccer season. I found that many times I was leaving golf early to drive to soccer late. There were times I completely missed soccer practice to be at a golf tournament. I felt that there was no way I could ever win. Soccer suffered a lot for me to be at golf. Yet a similar story applies to all of my activities. When one has this many commitments, it can be  exhausting trying to give 100% of yourself to each group. You want to be there for all, but realistically it’s impossible.

Leadership Positions

A big part of becoming a senior means that many new opportunities are presented to you. One of the most notable points is the leadership positions you can obtain due to your seniority within the clubs. Because of my involvement in many groups, I have taken on many leadership roles. This school year, I have become the Co-Editor in Chief of the Acorn, President of the Student Representative Council, Vice President of NHS, and a second-year captain of the girl’s varsity golf team. I’m very passionate about what I am doing in each of these clubs and want to be involved as much as possible. Although it seems amazing to contribute in the ways I can, it can take a large load when everything adds up. I’m obliged to do more than the average member of the activity. It can be extremely rewarding, but also very demanding. It takes a lot of organization, patience, and determination to manage my time efficiently and ensure that I am allocating the proper amount of time toward all of my involvements.

College Applications and Scholarships

The most surreal feeling of my senior year was sending off my first college application. Sometimes, it still doesn’t feel like it should be happening to me. Yet I never realized how stressful this time would become. Essays upon essays being written for applications, financial aid applications that are not only confusing but take hours to complete, and narrowing down the list of places I plan to spend the next four years of your life. It’s all a lot pressure-wise, and you’re thrown into these waters with no true instruction. The hardest part of it all is that I’m managing this all on top of the list of things I mentioned earlier. Assuming that I’d become stressed with this much on my plate, I tried to be proactive and begin my applications in the summer. What I didn’t realize is that life takes you away, and my efforts, although helpful, are still not enough to save me from the extra workload college and scholarship applications put onto high school seniors.

“The End”

The concept of “the end” has been very hard to grasp. Everything is coming to a close, bringing on a bitter-sweet feeling. Although I am proud of my accomplishments throughout the years, it can be very upsetting to have a huge part of my life just… end. Soccer has taken up 14 years of my life. I cannot recall a single memory where I wasn’t playing the sport; it’s just always been there. The fact that in a year, I will be living away from my family and friends for the first time is scary, especially the not knowing part of it all. There’s a lot of uncertainty that seniors face, whether that be their career, living, or life pursuits. Yet what they don’t tell you is that with it all coming to a close, I feel much more compelled to do as much as possible within the academic year. I’ve signed up for events I would normally have passed up on, and attended functions strictly due to the senior year comradery of it all. It has become a lot on my plate, constantly running around to make as many events as possible. It’s sadness, exhaustion, and fun all mixed into one; kind of a crazy feeling.


This has been one of the most fun years of my life; but it has also been the most stressful, scary, sad, and exciting. I will never regret what I’m doing. Take challenging classes, get involved, take on leadership roles, apply to your dream school, and go out and have fun! But if I could offer one piece of advice, you only get one senior year, so make it one that you will look back on with a feeling of pride. Be proud of what you accomplished, and the legacy you’ll leave behind. Be proud of yourself. Feel as though you maximize your potential while being your best self. It’s about finding a perfect balance for you; there’s no uniform way of doing senior year. But remember that there’s always room for having fun.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Matthews
Sophie Matthews, Co-Editor in Chief
Hello! My name is Sophie Matthews and I am a senior. It is my second year on staff, and I am the Co-Editor in Chief for the 2023-24 school year! I absolutely love the Acorn and everything it has to offer. My favorite aspect is getting to meet so many new people and hear about the amazing accomplishments of my peers! On the rare occasion of me not doing Acorn-related stuff, you can find me out on the golf course, playing soccer, binge-reading, listening to Harry Styles, or spending time with family and friends. I’m an avid hockey fan, and am absolutely obsessed with my cat Mouse. I am so lucky to be part of the Acorn’s 96th volume, and am extremely excited for what this year has to offer!

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