Stressing Toward Graduation


Senior year is many students ‘ most stressful high school year for innumerable reasons. A senior year at BPHS comes with an extra treat that stretches throughout the nine months of the school year: the senior project.

“Doing all these mentor meetings and research papers and PowerPoints at first was a little overwhelming but it’s not impossible,” shared transfer Rachel Park. “Maybe I’m ok with it because I like presenting.”

The senior project commences as soon as senior year does and is completed in parts throughout the year, until April. Early in the year seniors are given a schedule listing important deadlines, such as mentor meetings and due dates for components of the project, and the consequences for not completing them.

The project is different for every student, especially with the house artifact component. Seniors in IMPACT Academy must complete community service hours with a reflection, VITAL students must include their certificate from a workshop and write a reflection, and STEAM students must create a PSA. Additionally, this year, seniors taking AP English Lit must select a social issue in a literary novel of their choice as their project focus.

Many seniors find the project to be extra, even unnecessary, work that is simply piled on top of all the other things that come with senior year. It certainly doesn’t help that not every high school has this as a requirement for graduation.

“We don’t have senior projects necessarily in Chicago, we do 100 hours of community service,” said Park.

The seniors have had to write three drafts of a 6-8 page research paper. The portfolio required the seniors, especially those who ignored the advice of past seniors and teachers, to scour through old binders and backpacks in hopes of finding an old, graded essay and school award they once thought useless.

Now that portfolios and Powerpoints are done, seniors can now focus on perfecting their oral boards presentations. These can be incredibly nerve-wracking, as it is necessary to pass in order to graduate. However, seniors are given multiple chances. The judges want seniors to graduate as badly as seniors want to.

Many seniors are already completing their presentations which means they are on the road to a smooth graduation and can relax over spring break with this thought in mind. This includes AP seniors, orchestra seniors, and seniors on the badminton team. AP seniors always present early, while orchestra and badminton seniors both have events which prevent them from presenting as regularly scheduled.

AP English senior Andrew Munoz presented early and passed his oral boards. “I feel accomplished and like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. All in all I’m glad I presented early.”

Yes, the senior project can be overwhelming and stressful, especially for the procrastinating class of 2017, but ultimately your teachers and administrators want you to succeed. No senior is ever alone through the process and no senior is suffering alone, either.

Just share it.