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Sophomore Olivia Hickman is a first year reporter for the Prowler. She joined journalism because she enjoyed Mrs. Holton's English class last year. When she is not at school, Hickman enjoys riding her...

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Senioritis Plagues the Upperclassmen

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Nala Shearer
A student gazes at Mr. Rodriguez’s mental health board across from the library for motivation.

As the fourth quarter is in full swing, most of the senior class at RCHS is already gearing up for graduation, and looking forward to what lies ahead. However, the excitement that surrounds graduation time makes it very easy for seniors to forget that they still have to finish out the year strong. 

Mr. Jay Rodriquez, Rockbridge’s Community School Grant Coordinator has been attempting to combat the school wide attendance issue. Rodriguez organized an incentive program in which students with perfect or drastically improving attendance on the week were able to spin a prize wheel, and were rewarded for their good attendance. 

Rodriguez knows that seniors just want to think about being out of school, but he also has some important points on why finishing out high school with full effort is crucial.

 “As we approach the end of a long journey, it is natural to want to finish early,” said Rodriguez. “However, to actually accomplish that properly, we must stay strong and come to school every day! Seniors should use these months to savor the last moments of high school, connect with friends, and finish all necessary exams. Seniors will never get back these last moments before everything changes after high school.”

Rodriguez offered up some tips on how to combat the senioritis epidemic. 

“Seniors can combat senioritis by staying engaged,” said Rodriguez. “Participate in clubs and school events, also get involved with your classmates and go on all field trips. Another way to combat senioritis is to check on our mental health and think about the future. Anxiety about the future is totally normal, so talk to someone you trust, and have a plan, but remember that plans are always subject to change!” 

Senior Haedyn Hartless admits to being plagued by senioritis. 

“In the first semester, I had 25 absences, but then I had 25 more absences in the third quarter,” said Hartless. “Senioritis for me really kicked in sophomore year when we came back from COVID.”

For seniors graduating in the class of 2024, there was a major lull in their learning during the years of COVID that made it hard for students to stay motivated while doing online school, and it made it extra hard to come back and be in school full-swing for their next three years. 

Hartless gives his advice on how to combat senioritis, and emphasizes making life less overwhelming so that seniors can make the best use of their time, and give what little energy they have left to finishing out their high school education. 

“I think the cure to senioritis is to make your life as easy as possible. I feel like senioritis gets so much worse when you are busy outside of school too, as it makes it hard to find motivation to go when you are tired,” said Hartless. 

Senioritis has caught hold of most seniors, not just Hartless, even though Hartless may have one of the more severe cases. 

Most of the graduating class sees the future ahead and seniors are already thinking about post graduation plans. Despite graduation being the highlight of many students’ high school career, it is also the final goodbye to peers, friends, teachers, coaches, and whoever else has been there for their high school, middle school, and elementary school experience. 

Many students at RCHS have gone to school together since their early learning years. As the school year is winding down, it is important to remember that these will be some of the last moments with childhood classmates. Therefore, it is important to savor every moment and soak it all up while there is still a chance to do so. You will remember these moments for the rest of your life, so fight the senioritis and make the end of your high school careers the best that you can!

If you are struggling with mental health or finding motivation to come to school, whether you are a senior or any grade below, please contact the guidance office at (540) 463-6150. 

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About the Contributors
Nala Shearer
Nala Shearer, Editor-in-Chief
Nala Shearer is an Editor-in-Chief of the Prowler for the 2023-2024 school year. It is her second, and final, year in journalism, as she is a senior. Aside from devoting her heart and soul to journalism, she is also heavily involved in a few other organizations. Shearer captains the volleyball team and is an avid member of the lacrosse team. As well as sports, Shearer is also the social media manager of a local organization known as Project Connection. Though she has a busy schedule, Shearer loves her role with the Prowler because it allows her to reach out into her school and community. She cherishes the relationships that she has built with local small businesses through her restaurant reviews. After high school, Shearer is going to attend Gettysburg College to play volleyball and learn about the Civil War! 
Maddie Dahl
Maddie Dahl, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Maddie Dahl is a second year member and Editor in Chief of the Prowler. Dahl represents RCHS on the volleyball court during the fall and the lacrosse field in the spring. Off the field and outside of the classroom, Dahl can be found working diligently at the local donut truck, Mr. G’s Donuts. Dahl also enjoys working with the Executive Council team to plan school pep rallies and other fun events. After graduation, Dahl is pumped to be playing volleyball and lacrosse at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. Go Vikings!

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