Waking Up as a Second Semester Senior


Photo by Jacob Trick

Jacob Trick

The chimes echo around in my head for the third time that morning. My eyelids gradually lift up just wide enough to be blinded. I hit the snooze button for the fourth time. It has only been a couple of weeks since the beginning of the second semester, and I already feel the difference. 

Photo from CreativeCommons

A large number of us Northsiders spend our high school years studying hard in preparation for college. As second-semester seniors, our grades are less important to colleges, so finding adequate motivation for school can be undoubtedly difficult. 

Not everyone will feel a change in this motivation. If you never derived your motivation from attending college, then your motivation will likely stay exactly the same. If you are looking for a new source of motivation, keep reading.

I asked fellow seniors, “As you enter into the final semester of your high school career, how do you stay motivated?” Their responses are listed below:


Grades are still important.

Molly Wehrenberg (Adv. 006): “I still need to send updates to all the schools I haven’t heard from yet. I still need to figure out what I’m doing this summer like getting a job or internship, and I still need to apply for scholarships.”

Getting good grades as a second semester senior is still important, especially for those continuing to apply to programs and scholarships. And you never know who is paying attention to what you do. 


Derive motivation from your passions.

Karen Nguyen (Adv. 003): “You have to care more about doing well for yourself more than doing it for just a grade. If you actually care about the subject, you’ll be motivated to learn.”

In less than a year, we will be off by ourselves in college. Fear of that unknown is natural, but finding a subject that you are passionate about can make that transition a little smoother. With our remaining time here at Northside, talk to your counselor and teachers in order to find what subjects you really enjoy pursuing. 


Prove to yourself what you are capable of.

Aaliyah Vega (Adv. 009): “I feel like my senior year is the year to prove to myself that I belong at Northside. So when I do find motivation it’s for myself.”

Proving to yourself that you belong takes time. Setting your own goals and accomplishing them is an effective way of proving to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to, and that feeling of belonging will come with it. So, as a second-semester senior, make your own goals and do everything you can to accomplish them. I guarantee it will feel good when you do.

Photo by Jacob Trick


The figure skater who spends hours on the ice, ignoring the blisters that form on the bottom of their feet. The artist who ensures every shade is perfect and that every line is drawn with precision. Every person has this type of intrinsic motivation– the trouble arises when we struggle to find what creates this feeling for ourselves. In the coming semester, my motivation for continuing to explore my academic interests is that search for what makes me forget time and endure all hardships.


These aren’t the only tips out there for finding motivation. If none of these tips work for you, talk to your friends, family or counselors, and I’m sure you’ll find something to help. At least for me, talking to the people I interviewed has motivated me to only hit the snooze button twice, and I hope it has the same effect for you.