By Thomas Hislop
I’ve been told this is my very last column. I figure I’ll continue to write love poems for Ms. Donohue and send them to The Vanguard’s office, but I’m a little scared they’ll give me the same restraining order that Jennifer Lawrence already gave me. A tip for fellow admirers of J-Law: she does not respond well when she is applying sunscreen on the beach and a stranger screams, “I volunteer as tribute!” Before The Vanguard staff physically removes me from the back page (trust me, it won’t take much force), I wanted to share a little wisdom with the underclassmen.
My advice doesn’t pertain to Sophomore Debates, Junior Profiles, or standardized tests. That stuff is easy. I want to prepare all of you for the feared disease known to 12th grade teachers as Senioritis. You see, Senioritis is really just a senior’s rejection of the school culture of stress and competition that he or she has been stuck in for three years, but I need you all to understand just how serious this epidemic is. Whether you are into college or not, it will strike. Sometimes it will take over your whole existence for days. You’ll wake up in Silver Linings Playbook on a Thursday afternoon and be confused as to how you got there. You’ll look in your pocket and realize you’ve gone to the movie theater three days in a row. You also went rollerblading, even though you don’t know how to rollerblade.
Thankfully, I’m now a veteran carrier of Senioritis. I wore pajamas every day for two weeks and forgot how to speak English in the middle of French class (oddly enough, my French was fantastic). I’ve seen what this terrible disease can do to people, and I’m not just going to stand around and let it devastate our most innocent, handsome students, like Augie Briger (my last Augie joke… it’s the end of an era).
The easiest way to beat Senioritis is to let it strike you early so it has time to fester. If you let the disease slowly develop, it won’t be as bad. I’m not suggesting start in September of senior year. I’m suggesting something closer to January of junior year. I know what you’re thinking, my four loyal readers: “Thomas, that’s before most of the major assignments of junior year, and junior year is the most important year of high school.” Well, it’s also the most stressful, and Senioritis cancels out stress. To be honest, I’m amazed no one has thought of this. Why don’t we just get rid of the worst part of high school and replace it with the best part? It’s that simple. Sure, this might not be the most effective way to get into college. But college is for people who associate wealth with success. Personally, I’d rather just work at Hooters. Everyone there is really nice to me, and the uniform is super comfortable.
Plus, a lot of the richest people in the world didn’t even go to college. Bill Gates had Senioritis in sophomore year. He took off two weeks of school just to learn the trombone. Mark Zuckerberg is often called the most successful person under 30 in the world, yet he just spends all day on Facebook. That’s exactly what someone with Senioritis does! The proof is in the pudding, and I would know. I made pudding instead of writing my junior history paper. (That’s just a truly terrible joke. I think Senioritis kills your sense of humor, too.)
The problem is, we go to BB&N, where college matriculation is very important. Getting Senioritis in the middle of junior year probably won’t fly. The second-best way to defend against the disease is to find a hobby. The disease responds by shutting down the inhabitant’s brain, refusing to do homework, or open What’s Happenin’ emails. But by carefully planning a hobby, you can avoid this mental frenzy. Have you ever wanted to learn how to draw? Just sit in history class and try to draw portraits of historical figures (I always picture Joan of Arc with bangs). You want to start running? Walk into Ms. Kerpelman’s room, yell something about Elvis Presley’s mediocrity, and see how far you can get before you’re in a headlock. Were you someone who always wanted a pet, but whose parents always said no? Mr. Hudson is a lovely indoor cat, and I hear he’s up for adoption (remember: the more sass he uses, the more he loves you).
The thing is, Senioritis isn’t terminal. You get over it. One day, it makes you change from your sweat suit into a cap and gown and asks you to start donating to the school as an alum. Sadly, I’ve come to that point, and you will too. Just remember to stay calm, have fun, and stop and look around once in a while. Oh, and try to be nice when Ms. Donohue becomes a mean librarian, as all high school librarians must inevitably become. Even though she never responds, I know she’s going to miss my love letters.