We’ve seen it before: A senior starts caring less and less about his or her grades. It escalates, and their GPA starts sliding downwards. Soon their inbox starts to fill up as the “M” emails come in. This is senior slide, a phenomenon affecting mainly seniors who have had a average to low GPA before senior year and are now struggling to find momentum to finish strong.
Senior slide mainly happens when a student decides that hey, it’s my senior year, I’m pretty much done with high school, so who cares if I slack off a little in my classes? This reasoning is used to justify more and more slacking off, sometimes to the point where the student is failing one or more classes.
Joey Lambert ’19, has felt the effects of the slide creep into his semester. Though not in danger of failing, it takes extra effort to sustain momentum at this stage in the game. He says, “I love my teachers, I love my classes, it’s the work that’s not always so lovable.”
Dylan Drean ’19, on the other hand, is successfully fighting the gravity of this fourth year phenomenon, trying hard to stay on top of his work. Drean is worried he might not get into the college he wants if he doesn’t get a high GPA. “I don’t
want to lose my scholarship,” he reflects, which he sees as a real possibility, though he has maintained his eligibility so far this year.
Though some sliding seniors are not stressed, if one slides too far they can incur several penalties. We all know that parents can penalize a senior as well if they slide and get too low of a grade. They can become ineligible for participation in extra-curriculars. If they fail a class, they have to take it over the summer, and they lose a lot of points on the scale that determines graduation with honors (cum laude, etc.). It may seem at first like sliding can make a senior year less stressful (the stress of senior speeches and college applications is still there), its cons far outweigh its pros: you may not land feet first.