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  • Upper school parents take self-serve refreshments provided by the school.


    Upper school hosts Parents Back-to-School day

  • Varsity boys’ basketball small forward Nicholas Khamenia ’25 dunks the ball in a game during his sophomore season.

    In Brief

    Junior to attend Gonzaga University’s Kraziness in the Kennel event

  • Printed with permission of the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center

    In Brief

    School announces participation in ‘Alive Together’ walk

  • The HW-INC Team meets once a week from 3:15-4:15 PM to work on their yearly summer program.

    In Brief

    HW Inc Seeks New Applicants

  • The starting defensive lineup for the varsity football game Sept. 22.

    In Brief

    Varsity football loses to Northview

  • Junior mental health alliance leaders Dennett Stibel 25, Rachel Reiff 25, Sunny Lu 25 and Micah Parr 25 pose together.


    Student mental health alliance formed

  • Head Prefect Bari LeBari 24 poses with Head of School Laura Ross for a picture after receiving his senior class ring during the annual Senior Ceremony.


    Seniors gather for 90th annual ring ceremony

  • Administrators speak about student wellbeing at State of School Address

    Homepage News

    Administrators speak about student wellbeing at State of School Address

  • Girls volleyball wins against Marlborough

    In Brief

    Girls’ volleyball wins against Marlborough

  • A student pushes a recycling bin onto campus.


    Policy Against Pollution

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The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Ian Mitchell King (center, partially obscured), registered sex offender, joined the Studio City Neighborhood Council on Aug. 16.
Studio City Neighborhood Council members resign
Max Turetzky, Assistant Opinion Editor • September 22, 2023

11 members of the Studio City Neighborhood Council (SCNC) resigned Aug. 21 after Ian Mitchell King, a newly seated councilmember, was revealed...

Print Edition

Senioritis: don’t let it catch you


Senioritis, noun. An illness afflicting second semester seniors that renders them incapable of completing their work or engaging in their classes as usual. Our school seems to have a particularly dramatic strain of it spreading around.

Jan. 18 is a time many seniors seem to have mentally designated as a time of mass relief. The end of first semester marks the end of years of hard work and the beginning of a semester of slacking. As grades begin to have less weight in college admissions, seniors take time with friends, go to more parties and relax. While all of these are independently good things, they often come at the expense of schoolwork.

The culture of senioritis represents a failure both of students and faculty in this community. The mass movement away from school implies an ugly truth: students only work in school to present well in college admissions. If such is true, our mission of a joyful pursuit seems like an abject failure.

Teachers, deans, administrators and students should work to focus their ambitions more on meaningful scholarship. Students should work for genuine interest rather than in pursuit of higher GPAs. Teachers should focus on meaningful feedback beyond percentages. Students should examine their mastery of a subject aside from year-end grades and take classes they like, not shying away from rigor or pursuing it just for its value on a transcript. Instead, we should use our school’s strong academic support as an opportunity to take more academic risks, challenging ourselves in classes we find legitimately and intrinsically interesting. High school should be an enriching academic experience of its own, not just a means to an end.

Seniors should take their newfound time and lack of pressure as an opportunity for academic growth. We are surrounded by some of the most passionate and enthusiastic teachers in the world; they love the material they teach and, if we let them, they can bring us to love it too. Lessening our focus on grades does not necessarily mean dampening our focus on learning. Instead, it can have an opposite effect. Without the pressure of our transcripts, we can engross ourselves in our work, not simply using brute force memorization or shortcuts to survive a unit.

That said, teachers should not ease up on their expectations or lower work loads in the second semester. They should still hold us to the same standard of excellence, a standard that pushes us and makes our school unique.

Finally, we should acknowledge the privilege of the environment we are in. Our school gives us access to some of the strongest high school academics in the world. We study in an environment with some of the most talented students of our age group, and some of the most meticulously trained and distinguished teachers in their fields.

Squandering a large portion of it is a complete waste and is ignorant of the thousands of schools in the country that lack adequate resources and funding to provide the same caliber of education. Even if only for the first time, we should avoid the prevailing view of school as a survival challenge, instead recognizing it as the enriching experience we are afforded.

As January closes in, we should be thoughtful about our choices in work habits in the second semester. So cover your mouths, wash your hands, and increase your vitamin C intake: do whatever you can to not catch senioritis.

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Senioritis: don’t let it catch you