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Senior Year and Pre-K: Are They Really That Different?

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Jacob fidgets in the car the whole way to school. It is his first day, and even though he knows he has friends in his classes the apprehension builds until it is almost excruciating. When he thinks he will not be able to take it anymore he pulls into the school driveway, gets out of the car and goes into the building. This typical morning sounds all too familiar to most people, but it would be impossible to discern what grade Jacob is in from his routine. Although preschool and senior year of high school seem about as alike as north and south, they are really not all that different. Both stress the same morals and have similar activities and school hours. The main difference is that there is a degree of independence allowed during senior year, causing changes in some habits.

Since preschool students are not old enough to drive road- worthy vehicles, they often cruise around in pink plastic Barbie convertibles and black Power- Ranger SUVs, whereas twelfth graders go speeding down highways in the real thing. The price point for the two modes of transportation is significantly different, as a teenager’s first car might cost his parents a few thousand dollars while a pint- sized truck that will amuse a five- year- old for hours on end may only cost a hundred. When kids are younger they are less concerned with the appearance of different vehicles than with the fact that they can actually move from place to place. Once the fascination with “things that go” wears off some, adolescents (particularly males) become obsessed with their paint job, rims, and having the best looking car that they can. This can lead to friendly competition of a genre that is extremely uncommon in preschool.

Most students of any age take naps during the school day – whether it is encouraged or not – but it is most common in the youngest and oldest on the spectrum: preschoolers and high school seniors. Although they have this in common, the sleeping habits of the two ages are dramatically different. Preschoolers slumber on cots during a regularly scheduled naptime while seniors are lulled into oblivion by monotonous droning during Physics or Calculus classes. Although it seems like the contrary would be true, more hours of sleep are accumulated in the average high school class than during a preschool naptime. This is because preschoolers are constantly full of energy and too vivacious to even be able to sit still for five minutes straight. They most likely get double the amount of sleep a night that seniors do, as the most time- consuming homework a preschooler ever gets is a straightforward coloring sheet.

While they drive different cars and have variant sleeping habits, high school seniors and preschoolers live parallel lives in more ways than one. As was previously mentioned, both age groups usually have a nap during school. They also both generally take half days. This could simply be the scheduled school day or a more severe case of “senioritis,” the skipping disease that infects many high school students. After they leave school, both generations commonly eat lunch with friends and/or family at various restaurants or just at home. In this time they may also see their friends at a play date or a party.

Although many high school seniors may not like to admit it, they share an obsession with Disney movies and shows with preschoolers. The guilty pleasure of a twelfth grader is the norm for anyone under the age of ten, but many students of both ages watch at least three hours of the Disney Channel or Disney movies a week, if not much more. Although the reasons for watching so much Walt may be different – many teenagers just want to see if they can catch all the hidden humor – it is enjoyed tremendously by all.

Obviously the people going through high school and preschool are very different in terms of stress levels, hobbies, and sleeping habits. However, there are more similarities between the two than meet the eye at first glance and it should not be overlooked that some things never change in our society. It is in human nature to want to stick to certain habits and ways of life, and people do this more than they realize; throughout life many of the same lessons taught, lessons learned, hobbies, and ideals are maintained.



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