Attention Class of 2020: It’s Time To Ride the Senior Slide


You-Gyung Won

Mary McDonald, Staff Writer

As the second semester of the school year begins, many members of the class of 2020 are talking about the “senior slide” and attempting to engage in it. For some, it’s the coveted light at the end of the tunnel: the laziness that it’s finally possible to relax into, especially after Mid-Year Grade Reports are sent. But for many, the slide is not possible, or it simply does not hold any attraction. 


Acceptance and Senior Performance

One reason to make sure that you are keeping up with your past performance (or possibly exceeding it if you’d like to bulk up your grade point average before you graduate) is so that requirements for scholarship opportunities can be met. While many scholarship applications are due before graduation and thus before second semester grades are finalized, many scholarships require a certain minimum GPA for awardance. A drop in GPA could mean a drop in the amount of merit-based aid given to the student in question. 

Another reason to keep up the good work is that if you’ve been placed on a waitlist for a college, it is possible that you may not find out if you’ve been accepted until well into the summer. Colleges look at final grades when considering admitting a waitlisted applicant, so if your grades drop significantly in your last semester, you may not be considered competitive any longer. Other waitlisted students may beat you out for that spot.

Yet another basis for working hard is to ensure a solid spot in a college’s honors program. 

Mia Tabor, ‘20, said, “I can’t do senior slide because, if I do, Purdue might kick me out of the honors program.” 

You may be able to relax your stranglehold on the perfect straight-A semester if you have already been accepted to a school. You might be able to prioritize and grow in activities outside of school, but make sure to check the school’s policies on final GPAs and semester grades. Some college offers can be rescinded if grades drop too significantly, and it would be devastating to miss out on an opportunity to attend a dream school because you wanted to take a break before you got there. 


The Impossibility of Senior Slide

Minnetonka High School is ranked as one of the top public high schools in the state. The advanced courses that it offers reflect that, and students who take those courses are required to cultivate certain habits within themselves to succeed. These habits help form part of MHS’s environment of distinction, and once a student is a part of that environment, it can be hard to break from it.

Sarah Stolar, ‘20, spoke to what many seniors are feeling when she said, “I feel like I always say I’m going to start sliding but the reality is that with Minnetonka’s culture and the excellence it represents, it’s really hard to actually follow through with it, to just stop trying when you’ve been working hard for all of high school.” 

Students want to take a break, but it can be hard to figure out how to achieve that sense of relaxation while simultaneously being just as driven as they have been all of high school.


College: A Final Destination?

Trisha Trinh, ‘20, said,  “Personally, I don’t think I would ever be able to go on the senior slide because I’ve never considered getting accepted into college as an end goal. Instead, I’ve thought of it as a beginning that I need to work harder for. Plus, I enjoy learning, and the thought of learning something new keeps me motivated every day.” 

This attitude toward learning is something that Mr. Trout agrees with, and spoke for MHS when he said, “we want students to take pride in their work, take pride in themselves, take pride in their accomplishments, and accomplishing things is ongoing, throughout a person’s life.” 

It can occasionally be difficult to keep sight of the fact that high school is not just a stepping stone to get to a specific college. High school allows you to practice and prepare for many elements of real life. Keeping up the pace through the last semester of high school also can help give you a running start into summer and the first semester of college or wherever you decide to go.


So…Should You Slide?

The bottom line is that you know your needs best. You are your own evaluator of what you have to accomplish to succeed, whether that be succeeding specifically in the academic arena or in other areas of interest that you may have put on the back burner during these busy past few months or years. That said, you may not know exactly what you want from yourself in these last few months before you’re out of MHS. This may be a great opportunity for you to stand back and reflect on your time here and how you want to finish it. 

You might take some time to concentrate on your mental health. Applying to college or a job for next year on top of trying to keep first semester grades up can be exhausting. While entirely slacking off second semester may not be the best choice, you most likely can prioritize some rest now, even if it means not spending that extra hour to perfect an essay. Be kind to yourself if you know you need a break. 

Take the time to think about what you would like to do over the summer, and try and get together with friends more often. At this point, many seniors are thinking about what to do in the future, and that can get in the way of the realization that, by this coming August, many friends will be scattered across the country.