The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

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Second Semester Seniors Q&A: How are They Doing?

Isabella Lagarto, Alexia James

The start of the second semester brings various seniors the excitement of senior activities and graduation. However, classes are still in session, and senioritis typically starts to hit during this semester, which may cause them to slack off in their classes. “The Panther” heard from some of the seniors across Miami Palmetto Senior High regarding how they feel about their high school years coming to an end, their classes and the activities that come with senior year, along with some senior teachers and staff for advice. 

The Panther: It is now the final stretch of your senior year, how are you feeling?

Eduardo Chavez: “I feel weird. Not [super] stressed, but a little stressed, I’m not sure. It’s weird. It doesn’t feel like [school is] about to be over.”

Sara Kramer: “I’m not feeling the senioritis yet, I don’t think. I’m feeling more nostalgic about everything, especially as everything comes to a close, you’re thinking about it, and you’re doing everything for the last time. I don’t know, you’re never gonna be eating lunch in the courtyard in January for the first time again.”

Kelly Gnocchi: “I’m ready to leave school already. I’m excited to graduate.”

Angelina Diaz: “I feel like the first half [of this year] went really quickly and much faster than expected.”

T.P: How are you handling your classes? Are you in any APs? How are you balancing everything?

Chavez: “I’m in three APs. I’m in AP Spanish, Literature and European History. The way [I handle them is] I just organize my time to have enough time to do everything for all the classes. That’s about it.”

Kramer: “For me, I’m really just using my agenda book, which sounds silly. It helps me to plan out everything that I have to do, especially balancing sports. Athletics with school and then extracurriculars, I think just writing everything out.”

Gnocchi: “The scale is very unbalanced right now. I’m experiencing a lot of senioritis right now.” 

Diaz: “I definitely am experiencing senioritis. The second semester I am really trying to hone in on being a good student. It’s only four more months, so might as well.”

T.P: Senior events are starting soon, is there a specific one you are excited for? Prom, Grad Bash, Senior Picnic?

Chavez: “I want to go to Grad Bash because I’ve never been to Universal before, so that seems exciting.”

Kramer: “I think it’s a toss-up between senior picnic and Grad Bash. I was just talking to Mr. [Harry] Nerenberg actually, and he was saying when we go to senior picnic we’re going to actually see a group of elementary kids while we’re there. Everything is just so nostalgic right now.”

Gnocchi: “I’m most excited for graduation coming up.”

Diaz: “Graduation definitely, or Grad Bash.”

T.P: Graduation is coming up; how does that make you feel?

Chavez: “It’s a mixed feeling because I’m excited to see if I make it, but also I’m nervous because high school is going to be over.”

Kramer: “Everything is kind of bittersweet because, obviously, we’re finishing this chapter of our lives, but it’s also exciting because we’re moving into the next stages. I think leaving the school behind will be hard, but I think it also helped me grow a lot as a person.”

Gnocchi: “[I feel] very excited. [I] went to last year’s graduation, and I’m excited to walk across that stage and finally be done with high school.”

Diaz: “I’m excited and scared at the same time because it means that I’m becoming an adult and going to college. Just because I’ve been 18 doesn’t mean I’ve exactly been an adult. Now, I’m actually going off.”

T.P: As we are now in the last semester of your final year at Palmetto, can you think of something you will miss?

Chavez: “I don’t know, I feel like Palmetto has just so [many]… different activities and clubs that it has to offer; I’m just gonna miss that.”

Kramer: “I think going into college, I’m going to miss the connection that I have with my teachers. Just having those personal connections with your teachers and interacting with them every day, that’s really special.  [I’m] also [going to miss being] on the field, practicing for two hours every day with my team. That’s really a core memory for me, especially doing it for four years.”

Gnocchi: “I’ll miss all things ASL. From Ms. Mejias to my friends I’ve met through it.”

Diaz: “I’ll miss just how invested everyone here is in events and school spirit. I’ll probably just miss that and being able to go and perform at high school football games and stuff like that.”


T.P.: Now that college decisions are starting to come out and the second semester is starting, senioritis has begun to hit students. What are some of the consequences of senioritis?

Linda Dwyer: “The biggest consequence is that if they don’t do well in a class… is that they [may] get an email or a letter [from the college they got into] saying ‘I’m sorry, because of your second-semester grades…, we’re rescinding your application.’ And they take it back, they let you in and now they’re denying you. In July, that stinks because all your applications are closed. You really don’t have any other options at that point other than to call the school and beg that they’ll have mercy on you. It happens all the time, more often than we want. Then another option is kids get into a school but because of their second-semester grades, the school said ‘Okay, you can come but you’re going to be on academic probation [which is maintaining a certain GPA depending on you school or you don’t return] your freshman year,’ which is a bummer to start off your freshman year on academic probation.”

Kenneth Spiegelman: “First off, I would tell students, don’t give in. If you believe it’s a thing – I don’t, I think it’s a choice …understand that the habits you develop in high school will stay with you in college. There was an email that went out years ago from an admissions director at Florida State University, which basically warned students of the dangers of senioritis. You could lose a college admission with bad grades; you could lose scholarship opportunities with bad grades; you could lose bright futures if your GPA drops. Long term, you will find it very difficult to recover academically when you’re in college. It could take a year to get your study habits back, so finish what you started.”

Kailey Almonte: “Once everybody applies to their colleges around December and kind of start getting their first couple of acceptances, I switch [classes] when we come back from break. I get a lot of students who feel that just because they’ve already been accepted they are free to slack off coming into the class. Unfortunately, it is at the same rigor of starting a class at the beginning of the year. It’s a brand new course. Once you come in, kids forget that you need to get a certain amount of points in your second semester, so quarters three and four, in order for it to still count for college credit…because it’s a mandatory course to pass.”

T.P.: Do you have any advice for seniors trying to stay on top of their classes? 

Dwyer: “Just keep doing exactly what they’ve been doing for three-and-a-half years or a little less than that. Just don’t drop the ball; come to school. Do your homework, get it done. Applications are done… It’s not that many days. Just finish out strong.”

Spiegelman: “I think the first thing is: if you feel like you’re slipping behind, go talk to your teacher. We’re here to help you. That’s number one. Number two is: build yourself a schedule that you can stick to. If you’re in AP classes, understand you’re grinding towards those first couple of weeks in May. For all of your other classes, you’re grinding to finish. And, again, just keep telling yourself: finish what you started. There is no job in life that allows you to do the job until the last six months of the job. When you take a job, you do a job all the way through to the end. This is your job.”

Almonte: “Of course. Just don’t let senioritis get the best of you. Make sure that you have all of your assignments written out. If it helps you to get assignments in advance from teachers, you can always request dates in advance if they are planning-savvy. Ultimately, it’s just about managing your social time, your sports and keeping track of everything that you have to do.”

T.P.: Have you noticed students already being affected by senioritis?

Spiegelman: “I think that my students respond to me just as students respond to all of their teachers. If we demand good work from you, we hope that you continue to deliver good work. I always sense it this time of the year a little bit of a tail off from seniors, which is why I sort of reinforce the work that I do, to try to pull them out of that and keep them focused on what they need to do.”

Almonte: “It’s always really easy to tell, especially right when we come back from break, who’s locked in and who’s not. But [my classes] are on our second topic, and I start to see a little bit of people dwindling and losing that interest. It is very normal and it happens in a lot of courses, but because it is about to be February, we still have a little bit of time to catch up.”

T.P.: Any advice for seniors after high school? 

Spiegelman: “Assuming that they’re going to college, work hard, do well and make a difference in life. But, whatever it is that you choose, do your absolute best at it, and understand that the answer to your problems looks at you in the mirror in the morning.”

Almonte: “Do something that you love and make sure that it’s fulfilling. Money isn’t everything, it’s all about feeling fulfilled by your career and what you’re studying, money will come after.”

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About the Contributor
Ella Wehmeyer
Ella Wehmeyer, Multimedia Photo Editor
Ella Wehmeyer is a senior and Multimedia Photo Editor. This is her first year on staff, and she looks forward to developing her writing style and expanding her photography portfolio. Aside from newspaper, Wehmeyer enjoys reading, playing bass and listening to music.