Next month marks the beginning of an annual Providence tradition: senior speeches. And while stress and senior year seem to be synonymous terms, the timing of this tradition brings about undue stress on seniors.
Junior year at Providence is known around the school as being a breeze. If you do your homework and study for the ACT, you’ll have a great year. There is plenty of time for a social life and good sleep, and you really begin to forget about how difficult sophomore year was.
So then you get to thinking: senior year can’t really be that hard, can it?
“I’ve heard it’s the hardest year of all, and it’s very overwhelming,” Alexis Brown ‘15 said of senior year. “I’m most nervous about college apps next year.”
It’s not that the school work is harder than the other years. The teachers set realistic expectations and the material is manageable. Classes are challenging but are realistically designed for seniors at a college preparatory academy. But, senior year isn’t made up of simply schoolwork like years of the past, and that’s what is difficult to manage.
On top of getting good grades are college applications, which take a considerable amount of time. And on top of good grades and college applications are senior speeches.
You also need to fit in time for sleep, keep in mind.
Since Providence is a college preparatory school, it obviously has the right to teach challenging material and hold students to a high standard. But, the problem comes with the senior speech on top of schoolwork and applications. For the students (like me) with November speech dates, the stress levels are through the roof.
Senior speeches are something that other schools don’t have to deal with.
Paul Bromelkamp ‘14 is a friend of mine who goes to Benilde-St. Margaret’s School. He says the idea of adding a senior speech on top of college application deadlines and schoolwork makes him stressed out. At BSM, he says, junior year is the one synonymous with stress, not senior.
“Senior year is easier than junior year,” Bromelkamp said.
Stress levels among seniors at Providence are high, but then again, stress levels are more than likely high among every senior class around the world. However, Providence needs to do something about having a senior speech on top of all the other school related activities going on.
Senior speeches are a fine way to cap off senior year, but the early deadlines and due dates for the seniors giving speeches the first few weeks are unrealistic. Perhaps having the speeches start later in the year and therefore having more speeches in a day could help ease the workload. The goal is to be ready for college, which is possible through means other than having to accomplish unrealistic tasks all at the same time in order to succeed.