Commencement is So Close, So Why All This Work?


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For seniors, once we turn in our English Capstones or take our last tests, it’s all over, right? Just senior dinner, prom, Willy Gras, baccalaureate and right into Commencement morning, right? Well, not exactly; it turns out the end to many seniors’ high school careers comes with a final, frantic academic push right to to the end.

Seniors The Willistonian spoke to thought teachers would give them a bit of a breather, but are learning each day they need to push through and get to the finish line.

While some are dealing okay with the pressure, I spoke with a few students who admit to feeling overwhelmed.

Emma Gentile, who will be going to Wofford College, in South Carolina, next year, pulled an all-nighter on May 14 in order to finish her senior English Capstone project, which she wrote about author Cormac McCarthy.

“The Capstone alone was so much work and I had to [spend] an immense amount of time to finish that paper,” she said. “I am feeling a bit gassed and overwhelmed, and I am still trying to focus on other papers and tests.”

“I feel more stress than ever knowing my graduation is right around the corner and I still have so much I need to do to achieve good grades,” Emma added. “Honestly, I feel like I didn’t get time to enjoy my senior spring because I dedicated so much time to my academics.”

Maura Holden ’19 agreed. “I feel like it’s still so much,” she said. “I was expecting things to slow down once I finished my Capstone but it really hasn’t.” Maura will attend Hamilton College in the fall.

Director of Curriculum Kim Evelti made clear Williston’s policy regarding the expectations of all students as the year winds down.

“It is my responsibility to keep teaching until it’s actually over,” Evelti, who also teaches Computer Science, said. “So whether they are seniors or freshman, they’re still going to have work that is due. The amount of work I give stays the same for the most part and is very consistent.”

Charlie Lonergan, Assistant Director of College Counseling and Varsity Girls Lacrosse coach said he understands where both teachers and their students are coming from.

When students have too much free time, especially in May, school, he said, can start to feel like play time. ” I think Williston does a good job of keeping students engaged with academics even though the students don’t want to be engaged at times.