A fatal condition has taken over the lives of many students. This condition is growing, spreading, and affecting various types of seniors. They call it, Senioritis.
Whether it be proven real or just a popular excuse for graduating Eagles to get careless, Senioritis can take a toll on the graduates as early as the end of their junior year. Word is spreading that the final year in high school is going to be relaxed, therefore students go into their senior year with false hopes for no school work. The challenges that seniors face compared to previous years directly correlate to Senioritis symptoms. According to internationalcollegecounselors.com, these include laziness, skipping classes, failure to study hard for tests or write coherent papers, and disinterest in school-related academics and activities.
Beyond just the everyday homework students receive, college planning, test taking, and prom dress hunting are apart of seniors’ school year. Those tasks, among many others, occupy their focus on a day to day basis. Makaiya Johnson, senior, feels the workload during her senior year is too excessive.
“This year has been requiring too much of me and I wanted to do nothing, but all my teachers are just now giving me all these projects and major grades. They’re actually putting grades in, marking me absent, what is this?” says Johnson.
To survive high school, each student comes to realize what habits and routines are best for them. However, Senioritis affects these habits and changes a great student into one who has lost motivation. Jones finds that being swamped with academic demands affects her grades but she manages to recover by the end of the grading period, unlike her peers who are also affected by Senioritis.
“This year procrastination really took a toll on me. I fail my progress reports, but then somehow I get A’s on my report card. All my friends are skipping class and failing, and are probably not going to walk with us,” said Johnson.
As you begin to look closely at this epidemic, we at ENN have determined that there are three types of seniors that are accosted with Senioritis. First, you have the “Lazy Senior.” This student does not rush to school or class to be on time. Studying isn’t their thing, and they rely mostly on common sense knowledge to get them through the classes they don’t care about. Most of all, the ‘Lazy Senior’ is ready to leave school before it begins. These seniors are more than easy to find but unfortunately, not so willing to speak.
The second most common Senioritis victim is called “Hare to Tortoise.” This student starts the year off strong but suddenly loses their passion and determination. Habits such as being neat and organized wither. They also have no stress to dress to impress and are only excited by senior events such as prom and graduation day. Jones qualifies as a Hare to Tortoise senior because of how much her drive declined this year.
“I’m definitely a ‘Hare to Tortoise.’ When I first came in I was like,‘This year is about to be different from every other year. I’m gonna do my work, turn it all in on time.’ About two months after school started I was like,’Maybe this isn’t for me,’” said Johnson.
Not knowing what lays ahead in the future is nerve wrecking for some seniors. There is only so much that can be planned and senior, Imani Parker, has spent the average day in class thinking about things such as the freedoms college offers compared to high school. Her habit of doing so is in correspondence to the last most common senior: the “Day Dreamer.” This fantasist thinks about summer and college and dream nonstop about anything and everything but school.
“What is college going to be like when I leave high school? I think it’s going to be fun, better than high school, dress code, or seeing everybody everyday. Senioritis is really real. I was making all A’s, now I’m making C’s and doing really bad on homework assignments I should be getting easy hundreds on. Now that the school year is ending I really don’t want to do any work, I just want to go home, eat, sleep, watch TV all day, and not do any work. I’m ready to start the next chapter in my life and see where life will take me,” said Parker.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the seniors who do still care. No one is perfect in the realm of seniors, but those who strive to be are called the “Super Senior.” This rare form of a scholar doesn’t let Senioritis get them down. They’ve maintained the grades they desired, been accepted into a particular college or military branch, still comes to school in presentable attire, and are all about school spirit. Senior, Lindsay Johnson, admits that she is far from perfect, but thinks she does posses some qualities of a Super Senior.
“I’ve been trying to stay motivated throughout my classes because they are easy. I get upset when I see myself with bad grades. A lot of it isn’t hard, you just need to study. Now I know I’m going to UNT, I’m majoring in Chemistry, and I have a plan,” Johnson said.
Support throughout high school is essential, as there are many opportunities for students in any grade level to become overwhelmed and inclined to give up. Lake Ridge counselors play a big role in guiding seniors and future graduates towards the goals they strive to achieve. Lisa Davis, counselor, feels that Senioritis can be real, but doesn’t have to be. Lack of preparation and consistency catches up to seniors that get too relaxed.
“I believe Senioritis is a combination of several thoughts inside the mind of a twelfth grader. Twelfth grade is considered the end of the journey of high school. It’s like any long journey, when you get close to the end sometimes you are ready to be finished, but then sometimes you can’t believe the end is already here. Some students are tired and worn out and are ready to move on to their next journey as an adult, but still have to play by the same rules that the ninth graders do. So a bit of denial and a bit of being worn out is what causes seniors to lose focus on finishing their high school requirements. Some students try to blame things on Senioritis, but they have been behind for a while and it is their habits and lack of organization and commitment that have lead them to their position. I don’t consider that Senioritis,” said Davis.
Seniors can dictate how Senioritis affects them as does how long a person chooses to stay down without asking for help. Efforts to do better and improve must first begin with the individual and Davis says others can be of good support too.
“Life changes faster than you think. Coming to school and making the best grades that you can should never be an option. They should be an automatic, so that you can work on the other options that you need to focus on. For example, ‘Where do I want to go to college? What career do I want to pursue? How will this decision impact my future? How can I improve my gpa?’ Life is good. Enjoy the journey. Build a strong support system so that you aren’t wearing yourself out doing all the heavy lifting alone,” Davis said.
Even though Senioritis is very contagious, the mental capacity can be over powered with a positive support group, early college planning, and an overall goal to look forward to. If not taken seriously, it is easy to fall behind and become swamped with the pressures of deadlines. Therefore, the most important thing to remember about senioritis is… meh, never mind. I think it’s time for a nap.