Head to Head: Senior Month From the Junior Perspective — Don’t Pass Up Your Winning Lottery Ticket

A+theoretical+student+sits+at+their+laptop+watching+Netflix%2C+ignoring+a+sheet+of+paper+reading+%22The+Chance+to+Pursue+a+Lifelong+Passion+Via+May+Month.%22+Comic+by+Maddy+Leja.

Photo credit: Maddy Leja

A theoretical student sits at their laptop watching Netflix, ignoring a sheet of paper reading “The Chance to Pursue a Lifelong Passion Via May Month.” Comic by Maddy Leja.

May Month is a concept that will provide students the opportunity, during senior year, to discover their passion and potential future majors in college. I support the idea of May Month because as a student, it is difficult to know exactly what you want to do as a career or what subject to major in without first being a college student, and/or experiencing that industry in real-time and space. The ability to discover who you are or what you want to become in life, while in high school, and without exposure, isn’t easy. For example, how many times have you wanted something, only to learn later that it wasn’t to your liking? Having the ability to explore career or educational options during high school is an opportunity one should embrace. However, many students believe that they can accomplish the same goals after graduating high school. Procrastination is the arrogant belief that you have time to do anything later as if your life and or circumstances cannot change. There is not one example of when procrastination works; it fails every time. So, the real question is, why push your chance of exploring your passion and future career path to college, when you can get the opportunity to optimize your college time better? As a young person, I’m aware that there’s a refusal of discipline. Going to college will require you to make an arduous effort that a lot of people are not willing to take. 

May Month is not going to combat senioritis, nor is that the intention of Senior Month. This is an opportunity in time to explore internships, career work experiences, and/or passion projects; to learn your real interest and gain direction and focus for college. For instance, you go to college and you pay for a college course that you think has your best interest at heart, now you’re halfway through this course and you find out you don’t like it. May Month gives students that opportunity to circumvent this situation.

Career day can be within May Month and can be utilized to gain knowledge about more fields, to network, and to find more meaningful internships. Why put off for later what we can do now?

It is not uncommon for students to be told to either get a job out of high school or major in something that will make a lot of money. In this mindset, one can become conditioned to chase money and not their personal interest. This approach isn’t recommended because these very students are often first-generation college students who are shy to admit that they do not know what to expect when these decisions need to be made. Adopting May Month will allow students the opportunity to invest in their own future. May Month will also be inclusive to those who have to manage home life, work life, clubs, and etc., and it may help reduce the stress of what major they want to go into by allowing students to explore and get a head start in a passion. Passion projects have the benefit of allowing students to express themselves or to try something new. For example, if a student always wanted to start a business but never had the time to learn how, May Month would be a perfect opportunity to build up that business and connect with people with similar interests. All of these qualities match what Francis Parker stands for: “Cultivating individuals to the highest degree of knowledge, skill, power and service.” 

May Month will provide for all students. The majority of students (80% of college students) in our age range are unsure of what field in which they want to major. It is not wise to waste time and money on future college courses when you can use free resources now. Some students do not have the privilege to do it over the summer, to do it in their free time, or to even do it as an independent student. Students tend to be self-absorbed, instead of considering the overall message Senior Month is trying to bestow. 

There are concerns about not being able to spend time with friends, but on the contrary you can make plans to hang out with friends, schedule a sleepover, facetime your friends, and it is only a month. Senior Month is not going to hinder students from enjoying their high school moments.

Most Upper Schoolers do not know what they want to do as a career and May Month could be life changing for students. The Student Body at Parker is not the type to waste time, no student’s family would allow them to waste time, nor do we as students want to waste time. May Month should not be perceived as a chore, we have the privilege and resources to create anything during that time.

Additional benefits include the experience of networking. Networking is extremely vital and beneficial, especially for young people. Networking can help leverage students in getting their name out in the professional world and it has the ability to put students in a better position to get a job in their field of interest. There have been a lot of concerns pertaining to getting an internship during COVID-19. I can say, from personal experience, that it is not difficult to find an internship during a pandemic. Businesses are actually looking for people because there are fewer applications for open positions. 

As an example, over this past summer, I completed a six-week internship in the Corporate level, (C-suite) of Human Resources (HR) at a non-for-profit organization called Always Giving Back Foundation. During my internship, I shadowed the Chief Human Resource Officer and learned the importance of an HR team within an organization. I also participated in the process of recruiting employees, labor relation disputes, and benefit implementation. Not all internships are during the summer, and I do strongly believe that Parker wouldn’t set students up for failure by not providing options for internships that do happen before summer starts. There are so many businesses and corporations that need interns throughout the whole year.

There are numerous internships dedicated to high school students. Some people worry about being a gofer instead of actually doing work that will provide that internship experience. I do not believe that Parker would allow that and would definitely accommodate if that ever occurs. On the other hand, this is a misconception about internships. Most internships actually care for young students and provide that professional work experience most people want, I can assure you that it is rare for you to run unnecessary errands.

By not implementing May Month, students may be at a disadvantage because they will not have had the exposure or opportunity to try their interest before committing to a lifelong decision. 

If implemented, May Month will not only support the dreams and passions of the great minds at Parker, but it will also combat the abuse of power in the workplace dominated by white-skinned males who refuse to be progressive.

Senior Month from Junior Perspective: Yay or Nay?

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