Beware the Grad Slide


Jasmine Pathak, Various

Lurking in a school background is a monstrous creature. Turning high achievers into slackers and slackers into…worse slackers, it does not hold any mercy, preying on even the strongest until they are one incomplete assignment from failing. Teachers watch as it steals students from their class, staring in disbelief as class sizes grow smaller as the days grow warmer. Administrators grow weak after phoning home so many times that even they become victims.

Its name is the Grad Slide.

Whether you call it Senioritis or the Grad Slide, it is a common phenomenon observed in grade twelve students returning after spring break. For two weeks students become accustomed to the usual glories of no school: sleeping in, relief from homework or tests, and endless time to binge watch for favorite shows. And as students get accepted to university or have their travel or work plans lined up, motivation to do well in school shrinks as students set their sights on the future.

There is usually a sense of safety during this time of the school year, as consequences fade as acceptances greet student’s mailboxes. However, this perceived lack of danger can be disastrous.

This last stretch of thirteen years of education is integral, as it contains the final few steps to be able to walk across the stage and receive a diploma. However, what can be at risk if one succumbs to the Grad Slide?

University offer revoked

After seeing admission offers greet mailboxes, it can be tempting to check out of school. However, university acceptances are usually conditional, meaning a student has to maintain a certain grade average to keep an offer. While looking at memes all day may be preferable to doing calculus, receiving a note saying a university has taken back your acceptance is sure to put your life into perspective.

Rescinded Scholarship

 Imagine working hard at school your entire life, taking honours courses, doing extra credit, heading school committees and joining sports teams—all in hopes of getting a scholarship. Suddenly you receive an email that grants you your ticket: you have received an entrance award! Bursting at the seams with excitement, you frantically tell your parents, friends, teachers, neighbours, the cat across the street…Flash forward two months later: your average has dropped ten percent, and you receive another email saying the scholarship has been rescinded.

Once again, scholarship offers usually require you to maintain your current average, meaning your time to slack off does not start until after finals.

How to resist?

 While scientists are working on a vaccine to protect students from the Grad Slide, it is essential one finds ways to stay immune until then. One method to avoid the downward spiral is by keeping your goals in mind. For example, in a 4 × 400 metres relay, each leg is essential to completing the race. However, even if the first three legs are completed successfully, a gold-medal finish can still fall to last place if the anchor grows arrogant or lazy. Cheesy metaphors aside, by keeping your eye on the finish line, you are sure to graduate on time.

Finally, high school is the last time students have the privilege of receiving an education for free. With astronomical tuition fees, taking advantage of this time and applying yourself to your studies will only help you in the future. So to the grad class of 2017, I will only say the following: Netflix is not going anywhere. Enjoy these last few months and finish strong.