An Epidemic Amongst Seniors

An Epidemic Amongst Seniors

Samantha MacNeil, Copy Editor

SENIORITIS! What is it? Defined simply, it is a decline in motivation or performance in the final year of high school. It sounds silly, but it’s a real thing. Midterms for the third quarter have officially come and gone, and there is less than 3 months until graduation. Most college applications are closing and scholarship season has rolled around. Seniors can feel that the end is near. So why is it that they tend to lose motivation when they’re practically at the finish line? When you’re running a race, you wouldn’t stop and walk the last 10 meters to the finish, yet that is exactly how senioritis affects students. 

Even though senioritis isn’t really a “true disease,” it is a very real feeling that affects many students, and affects them in varying degrees. There are six main causes of senioritis: achievement, end-goal mindset, boredom, denial/fear, anticipation, and convenience. One can tell if a student is feeling the effects of senioritis if they stop caring about their grades, skip class, or just seem to have no motivation for homework and assignments. 

Some current seniors were comfortable enough to share their experience with senioritis and how it was affecting them. Ruth Valle Leon shared, “Senioritis has affected me by really bringing down my motivation to do any work or get anything done. I (have) really felt it in second semester. I have tried to change it. I mostly skipped 5th, but now, I have tried to be there more because people rely on me.” Another EHS senior, Asher Nelson Mack, added his input on senioritis. “I have lost motivation to complete my assignments and almost always turn them in at the last minute. It started during the beginning of second semester, and I have tried to do my assignments early to try and keep myself on track, but it doesn’t always work.” 

Senioritis doesn’t just apply to those students at EHS, but also those enrolled in running start. Anna Pugh is a current running start student who shared her experience with senioritis. “Senioritis has definitely affected me within the last semester. While I still try to put up a high quality of work at Big Bend, I most definitely feel like I’m being pulled under by deadlines. I’m honestly at 300% capacity, and I’ve been running on literal tears and cat cuddles, so I have to remind myself to give a little and still be enjoying life right now even if it’s stressful. The end is near. I can’t slip up just yet.” 

Senioritis tends to be overlooked, with people saying it’s “not a big deal” or simply that it’s “just not real.” But it is in fact a big deal. Students spend four years of their lives preparing for their future, and can just throw it all away at the end. There are consequences that follow senioritis, as some colleges require you to maintain certain grades once you’ve been accepted, but if you begin to slack or get lazy, your spot at that college could slip away. 

Although it may seem unavoidable, senioritis can be prevented. There are things students can do to help with it, or even completely prevent it. Setting goals can be very helpful in preventing senioritis. Giving rewards for meeting those goals and not getting caught in the same loop over and over again can be preventative maintenance. 

Some ways that students can reverse senioritis is by choosing some challenging courses, not obsessing over college, and just focusing on enjoying the senior experience. Senior year should be fun for students, stressing about the future and giving up on themselves is counterproductive to the end  goal. Keep pushing through, try something new, and enjoy every day of senior year because the end will come sooner than anyone really realizes.