Being a senior comes with its fair share of perks.

After slowly climbing up the food chain for four long years, seniors are granted privileges including off-campus lunch, dress down days, and, yes, the ability to exempt finals.

However, this year things have changed a bit as juniors now have the ability to exempt as well. This has obviously been met with mixed reactions depending on the grade level you ask. As a senior, it is my duty and responsibility to defend the idea that this is an abomination.

To an extent, I understand it. Every senior understands that junior year is the most important year in terms of grades. With this in mind,  However, there is more that goes into final exam exemptions than just your average.

Exemptions are not simply a matter of allowing for a little relaxation at the end of the year or holding on to a couple of extra points in a class.

While that certainly is a big part, exemptions are also a matter tradition. For years and years underclassmen have anxiously waited their turn to be a senior so that they can enjoy the privileges that come with it. That tradition, though, is beginning to slip away. What’s next? Will juniors be able to listen to music in study hall? Will they be able to cut the lunch line?

For juniors, I understand that this is exciting and this article probably will not convince you otherwise. However, I have seen myself and the other guys in my class wait and work to earn the privilege as seniors. Now, suddenly, it does not matter. Just as we have reached our final year, one of the privileges that we have worked so hard to get is now granted to others as well.

I know that revoking the privilege would cause a colossal uproar, and while I massively respect junior John Green for making it happen, I have a different solution: do not have the same exemption requirements for juniors and seniors. Juniors are going to be able exempt now, I have accepted it. However I think it would be fair to make the requirements slightly more difficult for juniors so that there is still some benefit to being a senior when exams come around. Instead of requiring a 90 average, maybe require a 93 average.

Regardless of what they decide to set as the requirements, I hope that the juniors take advantage of this opportunity and use it as a little extra motivation to bump up those grades right before it’s time for college applications. Junior year is undoubtedly a huge year that is not without its fair share of stress, so I hope that this change encourages a little extra hard work down the road that will pay off in the long run, both for the current junior class and classes after it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am as personally offended by this change as the other seniors, but there is no use in trying to get it changed back, and that is okay. So, juniors, you have been given this great opportunity that will reward your hard work this year. Make it count.

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Jake is a Senior at St. Thomas High School. He has been involved in many activities during his high school career, including holding the prestigious title of Senior Associate in the Business Club. In his free time he enjoys Arts and Crafts and watching reruns of the Amanda Show. After school you can probably catch him going home because he is tired and wants to take a nap.

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