A few weeks ago, Envy came up with the idea of gathering 5 TBC members to compare notes on the ups and downs of the confusing, defining and somewhat terrifying experience that is finishing high school. I'm very happy to announce that the introductory post is ready, so if you are interested in following this entertaining adventure through one year in five very different lives, make sure you drop by regularly!
Tigi, Hungary : Last-ditch Attempt
I’m Tigi from Hungary, and I’m looking forward to this project about the senior year – I hope I can bring the system and the local habits closer to you.
I started my senior year in September, and I’m already busy with school, but I don’t mind the tasks, I just want to get this over with in the next ten months. You may be aware that in Hungary the government reforms the educational system, and as a result it’s dying. I am happy that I have only one year left, and I’m determined to finish with outstanding results.
The most important events of the Hungarian senior year are: prom in November (I already hate it), applying for university in the winter, and school leaving exams from May until the end of June.
I have hopes and dreams: I’m going to beat the system :-)
Anu, Indian school in Saudi Arabia :Making the most of it
|Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
I am Anu, a clueless sixteen year old, currently in last year of secondary school, yet with no idea what she's actually doing. I hail from a metropolitan city in the Southern part of India although I currently go to an Indian school in the Middle East. Almost one-third of my senior year is done because the academic year begins in April. After three months of class, we have a term exam and then it is summer vacation.
We return back to school in September, and after two months of class, I have another set of term exams, in the second half of November. There are two weeks of class in December, and then it is the Winter break.
In January, I'll have practical exams for the science subjects, and then a model exam in February, and finally the major Central Board exams in March.
Somewhere around January/February (depending on the weather), we have a small, farewell banquet for the outgoing seniors, conducted by the juniors. It isn't exactly a prom, because I go to an all-girls' school.
The difference here, in India, is that you have to apply to colleges by January. You have to write special exams (and give interviews, almost like a job interview) for getting into the college of your choice in April/May, depending on the college. You'll hear back from them in June.
Year 10 was not a good year for me, because of many reasons, and I had been in depression for a major portion of that year. Year 11 was totally full of new beginnings. So, this year, being both my final year at school as well as the last year of my sojourn in the Middle East, I am determined to make the most of it!
"You can never relive your school experience, you only get to do that once", was something I had heard all too often. So, this year, I went all-out from the start. I participated in a story-writing contest conducted by my school, and actually managed to win the first prize, despite submitting my entry on the very last day (yes, that unfortunate habit of procrastination)! I also helped in writing out the script of the play that my department is putting up for the World Food Day and I managed to bag the lead role in it too.
For once, I can truthfully say, I am really loving it here at school.
Youngjoo Ahn, USA :
I'm Youngjoo Ahn and a senior in high school in America. I've been taking standardized college exam tests since last year because there is no limit on how many you can take them in the US.
College applications are due in November and January and I hear back in March. It's been a hectic time in my life because I'm scrambling to get everything together.. Senior year has been fun but stressful. I sleep a lot later because of this college stuff.
My friends and I are really taking the time to appreciate the last moments before this unsettling change. I'm excited yet nervous to move away from home and everything familiar. I want to be in a huge city with lots of culture, noise, and education.
I'm trying to survive as best I can... Life is definitely challenging at this point in time. But with my typewriter, cactus, and lovable collection of books I'm totally ready to take senior year on.
K, Haiti :Just 10 Months To Do It All
So far, my senior year has been a rather nerve-wracking couple of weeks! There does not seem to be any immediate solace, as the weeks to come are predicted to be even more overwhelming than the last! In these fifteen days, I have:
☻ Taken the SATs (offered at school and required by most of the colleges I am applying to)
☻ Prepared for and taken three or four tests
☻ Presented to the 11th grade (not as simple as it sounds)
☻ Prepared 4 other projects.
Most of it was done in the cadre of my current school courses, and apart from the SATs, had nothing to do with my preparation for college, which occupies at least one third of my time every week!
But, I have gotten ahead of myself here! I am K, and I am a senior in my home country, Haiti. The general school system in the country is French (and I have learned in it for many years) but the school in which I took my high school courses is modeled after the American education system.
Although, from what I have heard, even though the experience is quite different than in the United States, some of the major milestones remain the same:
☻ Four years of high school
☻ Preparation for and Application to a college
☻ SATs and/or ACTs (which are basically standardized tests, one of the factors of admission to college)
☻ Semester Exams (January and June for me)
Aside from those, we have some other traditions of our own for the senior year:
☻ Senior trip to a foreign or local site
☻ Senior dinner (just like it says, we eat together someplace)
☻ Senior pictures (which is that we each go to a professional photographer and have our pictures taken individually, then take one formal class picture)
☻ Senior Play (we put together a play for fundraising)
☻ Senior fest…. Just to celebrate that it's all over!
Since the beginning of the year, a committee for each activity was arranged to make sure they are all organized smoothly! I am part of the picture committee, and so far, it has not been that hard. On the outset, I had thought my senior year was going to be very relaxed, but the time to chill does not seem to be around the corner! I am nonetheless looking forward to completing everything and am ready to take on the next milestone: college!
the Netherlands: Checklists. Checklists everywhere.
I’m seventeen year old high school student from the Netherlands and, like the others in this post, I’m in my senior year.
Senior year in the Netherlands is all about finals. I’ve got SE’s (School Examinations) which differ from school to school. I’ll have to do these in November, January and March. After having survived those, I’ll have to do the CE (Central Examination) in May, which is the same for every high-schooler in the country. Then I’ll hopefully graduate in June.
In between the big examinations, there’s the so-called ‘profile assignment’ (an assignment based on the classes I’ve chosen to follow), oral examinations and listening comprehension tests. All of these influence my chances of graduation.
I’m looking forward to this year. Most of my friends graduated last year and I feel a little left behind. Nonetheless, I feel like this is going to be a great year. It’ll be weird to say goodbye to my high school, but I’m ready for it.
I’m trying to stay organized this year, since I’m a bit of a scatterbrain and I tend to forget things. So this year I decided to write everything down and make checklists. But, as I could have expected, chaos struck and now there are checklists everywhere. So much for staying organized…
The first week wasn’t what I’d expected. Neither was the second week. So far I’ve learned nothing new, though I’m drowning in a sea of homework. But I’ll survive that. It’s going to be a tough year, but I’m ready. Senior year, bring it on!