Senior Year of High School: Expectations vs. Reality

Writer, Senior Editor, Wintergreen Orchard House

Feb   2015



It’s your senior year of high school, and there are only a few short months left to enjoy it! Your expectations were probably pretty high at the beginning of the year, and rightfully so. You’ve spent the past four years dreaming about graduating, and the day is so close! But, like a lot of things in life (e.g., The Amazing Spiderman 2, swearing off sugar for Lent, pretty much anything that Pinterest made you think you could do, etc.), your expectations don’t always line up with reality . . .

Ruling the school

Expectation: “I’m a senior now. Get thee behind me, freshmen!”

Paramount Pictures via

Reality: No one really cares.

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Senior perks

Expectation: Being a senior means you’ll get all kinds of awesome privileges. Like, the principal probably gives all seniors a special gold card good for unlimited hall-wandering and excuses from class.

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Reality: At best, you might get a better parking spot. But probably not.
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Becoming an adult

Expectation: You’re turning 18, so your parents will start treating you like an adult and letting you do pretty much whatever you want.

freedom animated GIF
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Reality: Nope. If they have it their way, that curfew isn’t budging till you’re 30.

source: uproxxx
Warner Bros. via

Flying under the radar

Expectation: Teachers will love you and you’ll basically be immune to getting in trouble.

swag animated GIF
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Reality: Detention ain’t just for freshmen.

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Expectation: Homework? Seniors don’t get homework!

the office andy bernard dancing in an elevator gif
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Reality: Most. Homework. EVER.

It's a hard life
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Study habits

Expectation: But hey, all that homework? No big deal. You’ll be crazy motivated to go out on a high note!

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Reality: Nope with a side of nope sauce.

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Fat envelopes

Expectation: Your mailbox will be brimming over with college acceptance letters.

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Reality: When those acceptance dates actually start rolling around, you’re terrified you won’t even get into your safety school.

dwight schrute the office gif
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Expectation: Prom will be a magical night filled with dancing, friends, and maybe even a little romance.

Touchstone Pictures via

Reality: Still feels like middle school.

Top 10 Worst Things That Can Happen At Prom
Focus Features via

Senior pranks

Expectation: You’re going to pull off the most epic senior prank of all time.

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Reality: The school security guard thwarts your plans before you even begin installing a Slip ‘n Slide in the gym.

7 Bosses You Don’t Want In Charge Of Your Birth Control
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Skipping class

Expectation: Senior Skip Day is going to be the most amazing day of your life! You’re gonna’, like, climb Mount Everest. Or at least make waffles.

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Reality: "Ummmm . . . so, like, what now?"

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Expectation: Graduation, at last! You’re going to strut across that stage like Beyoncé!


Reality: Errrmm . . . not so much.

16 Epic Graduation Fails

Going off to college

Expectation: College is going to be awesome.

excited baby

Reality: College is going to be AWESOME!!!

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NBC via

But deep down, you’ll always miss high school. Just a tiny bit.

Paramount Pictures via

Keep on keepin' on, Class of 2015!


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About Stephanie Farah

Stephanie Farah

Stephanie is a Writer and Senior Editor at Wintergreen Orchard House, where she manages the collection of data from schools in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Stephanie holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's in journalism from the University of North Texas. At various times she has been: an uncertain undergrad, a financial aid recipient, a transfer applicant, and a grad student with an assistantship and a full ride. Stephanie is an avid writer, traveler, cook, and dog owner. She looks forward to sharing her experiences with college-bound students and the counselors guiding them along the way!  

You can circle Stephanie on Google+, follow her on Twitter, or subscribe to her CollegeXpress blog.