Feb   2015



Senior Year of High School: Expectations vs. Reality

Writer, Senior Editor, Wintergreen Orchard House

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!”

Ruling the School
Via Giphy.com

Reality: No one really cares.

No one cares
Via Giphy.com

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.

Paramount Pictures via autostraddle.com

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

Via Giphy.com

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
Icon Productions via giphy.com

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

Go to bed
Via Giphy.com

Flying under the radar

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

swag animated GIF
NBC via giphy.com

Reality: Detention ain’t just for freshmen.

Warner Bros. via gillianeberry.blogspot.com


Expectation: Homework? Seniors don’t get homework!

the office andy bernard dancing in an elevator gif
NBC via wifflegif.com

Reality: Most. Homework. EVER.

It's a hard life
FOX via reactiongifs.com

Study habits

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


Reality: Nope with a side of nope sauce.

not studying
Via Giphy.com

Fat envelopes

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

NBC via mtv.com

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
NBC via wifflegif.com


Expectation: Prom will be a magical night filled with dancing, friends, and maybe even a little romance.

Touchstone Pictures via crushable.com

Reality: Still feels like middle school.


Senior pranks

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


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


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.

New Line Cinema via mindflayer.svbtle.com

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

bored animated GIF
Screen Gems via giphy.com


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


Reality: Errrmm...not so much.


Going off to college

Expectation: College is going to be awesome.

excited baby
Via mashable.com

Reality: College is going to be AWESOME!!!

College student

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

Paramount Pictures via tumblr.com

Keep on keepin' on, seniors! 

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

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.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway