True Life: I’m a Senior

For the seniors at Irvington High School, this is almost the end, the last "home-stretch." Classes ended on May 12th, and finals testing filled the remainder of the week.

It’s hard to believe that for Irvington High seniors, school is officially out.

Even though students will no longer be seen walking down the school hallways or attending classes, they are still required to participate in the internship program offered at Irvington High School. The program is a way for graduating students to experience the realism of a particular career or area of study while learning about the demands of work and improving their intellectual and communication skills.

Senior Rian Handler said, "I’m going to be working for the creative director at MTV. I will have the opportunity to sit in on meetings with the MTV creative staff and voice my opinions about new designs and logos, etc. They explained how they believe it’s important to always take the opinions of youth into consideration, and that will be me essentially! I’m really excited to get started; I think this will be a great learning experience for me."

In the past, the internship program has been a huge success, and it continues to be an essential part of the senior year itinerary. Some students have chosen to stick with their current jobs, some will intern locally at the elementary school or a local business, and some are even considering New York City or an internship in a different state. The choices are infinite.

Putting aside the internships, at this point in the year, there really isn’t a lot of responsibility left for the seniors. No more grades. No more sports and certainly no more college applications. Summer is slowly creeping around the corner and with the blink of an eye, orientation and college in the fall. But as the days go on, the question continues to linger: "What is really important?"

There are a lot of diverse opinions amongst the seniors of Irvington High School. At this point in the year, there seems to be less of an academic aspect as to what’s important, and everything is more geared towards social events such as the prom, graduation and the summer.

Senior Sammy Goldberg, who is attending Lehigh University in the fall, said his friends are most important. "At this point in my senior year, spending as much time as possible with my friends is most important. I’m going away for basically the entire summer to work as a camp counselor in upstate NY, so I’d like to spend as much time as I can with my home friends before I leave for college."

On the other hand, Senior Sagar Setru, a soon-to-be freshman at Yale University, said, "At this point, nothing is really important. I’ve been living my life day-by-day, in the hunter-gatherer sort of way, eating, sleeping etc."

Senior Vinnie Neuberg said, "It’s really important that I finish all my end-of-the-year things. There’s some work I need to finish and things that I have put off. Also, finding a job and making plans for the summer!"

Handler, who will be attending the University of Michigan starting this summer said, "As a senior in high school, I think graduation is mostly on my mind. I just can’t believe that I’m coming closer to reaching this milestone! I’ve been through the Irvington school system for 13 years and now it’s time to move on. I’m so excited for college and I think “graduation” means I’m finally ready to move on and take that next step."

From a parental outlook, Wendy Handler comments about her main intentions for her daughter, Rian, at this point in time. "I want her to be able to reflect on what these past 13 years from K-12 really mean to her, and for her to be able to look forward with a great deal of excitement for all that lies ahead."

As a senior, the most important thing from the start of the year is college which will eventually impact our future plans. College stands as the reason why so many students work so hard in school.

"Michigan was my top choice; it had always been since I was really young.

But when making my final decision, I thought about the level of education I would be receiving, how much I liked the campus, and the school’s spirit," explained Rian Handler.

Said loving and supportive Momma Handler, "Rian’s ultimate decision to attend the University of Michigan has a special connection for our family because of how many generations have attended school there. It’s a two-part excitement: it’s our hopes for what her experience will be and, also with so many generations there, a part of it feels like she is going home. It’s exciting to see her be excited about these iconic Michigan things that will now become a part of her life."

Senior Marissa Hurwitz who will be attending Middlebury College said, "I’m contemplating majoring in International Relations and possibly law after school. I also hope to play Division III soccer in my sophomore year."

As a whole, many people do not understand the difficulty of senior year. Rumor has it that it’s the easiest year, you get no work, and your GPA will be higher than any of the other three years. I hate to be the one to say this, but that is false information. The beginning of senior year might well be ranked as one of the most stressful and pressured times in all of high school; specifically, the dreaded college process.

"The college process was a long and frustrating one. I had to write so many different essays and short answer responses for so many different colleges. Narrowing down the schools I ultimately wanted to apply to was tedious as well," said Handler.

"The college process is more grueling than any of the cage fights I’ve been in, and I’m not just any old cage fighter off the street. It’s tougher than steel wool but in the end it worked out well for me, not just because I got into a good school, but also because I learned how to write essays clearly and with thought," stated Setru.

Conversely, senior Marissa Hurwitz didn’t mind it so much. "The college process worked out really well for me. I applied Early Decision to Middlebury College and was thrilled when I was accepted."

Hurwitz continued, "Overall I applied to two schools, but I also had fifteen applications ready to go if I didn’t get in Early Decision."

On a different track, senior Vinnie Neuberg applied to all art schools. "My college process was not unique. I cut all of my deadlines very close, and worked really hard. Applying to art schools is definitely a different ball game. It worked out well; I was accepted to my first choice school," said Neuberg, who will be attending RISD, Rhode Island School of Design in the fall.

After the college process was completed and that weight was finally lifted off their shoulders, seniors at Irvington soon began to relax a bit more. Neuberg said, "I definitely tried to take senior year as seriously as the others, but applying to college consumed so much time and energy, especially creating and assembling an art portfolio. It became harder to allot time for schoolwork or extra work that I might have done in previous years."

On a similar note, Goldberg said, "I definitely took my senior year less seriously academically. I got all my work done, but didn’t really worry about grades; I gave myself a little break."

As seniors reflect on their final year of high school, the college process, and their future ambitions, they can only hope that their selected schools will give them a fresh, rewarding start and provide them with the critical academics and knowledge they will need to pursue their future goals.

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About the Author: Sarah Silverhardt