Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Motivation. Perhaps it’s just my perspective, but it seems that this trait is in somewhat short supply at this point in the year. Seniors are all getting into college and see no reason to put in much extra effort anymore. Juniors are entering one of the toughest work-periods of their high school careers and can’t stop to think about anything other than their next APUSH paper. Everyone is tied up in extra-curriculars, classes, and mid-winter blues. Sitting in my free band, watching some of the smartest people I know reclining in their chairs doing nothing remotely productive, it’s clear that senioritis and all other forms of second semester paralysis have started in full swing.

Why, one might ask, does everyone seem to suddenly lose motivation simultaneously at this point in the year? Maybe it’s the weather. No, seriously, the sight of endless snowfall is, for many of us, either a symbol of depressing bleakness or a reminder of fun, carefree hours spent on the slopes. Another key factor is probably the length of the year. After a crazy semester and (hopefully) an exciting intensive, the thought of returning to the rotation for four more months can be discouraging. Freedom and relaxation seem to be so far away, so how can one not feel a little drained? This is especially an issue for seniors who, as they hear back from colleges, begin to particularly long for the change in environment graduation brings. Four (or seven or fifteen) years is a long time to spend at an institution, and even the most loyal Hawks can get a little sick and tired of the place after such a lengthy period.

However, is this really the moment for us all to slack off and cast our work aside? Despite how liberating the prospect sounds, I would posit that the answer is definitely no. There are newspapers to publish and plays to perform, athletic and academic competitions to win, AP tests and SATS to study for (the latter for the Juniors; good luck, everyone!), relays to run, and – on top of all that – homework, tests, papers, and everything else that good old classes entail. If you’re a Freshman or a Sophomore, the workload this semester should be just as heavy as during the first one. If you’re a Junior, I wish you lots of luck, because spring of Junior year – the time when virtually every test imaginable seems to need taking at once – is truly a beast like no other. And Seniors, well, we have a school to lead. Why, after such a great first semester, should we throw it all behind now? Let’s consider our legacy, people! And don’t forget: colleges can ask for third quarter grades (ugh…).

To my classmates – particularly the seniors – who are taking the chance to rest and heavily procrastinate, congratulations on reaching this point in high school! You’ve definitely earned some time to rest. However, let’s keep the engine churning for just a little while longer. Prom, prank week, senior projects – there are lots of chances to have fun ahead this semester, but we’ve come too far to stop driving before we reach the finish line. As Dory and possibly the hardest workers in the school, the members of the swim team, would say,

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”