Senioritis whips through the school hallways and crawls under classroom doors, infecting students and impacting their performance in school.
In other words, with summer around the corner, student motivation has begun to melt away. Although the condition’s name implies that only seniors are affected, all students are susceptible. For seniors, the focus shifts to college or post-high school plans.
“I’m always thinking about the decisions I need to make about college and my future, and it makes it a little difficult to stay engaged in my classes,” said Brooke Seim, a senior. “High school already feels kind of distant even though it’s hasn’t ended yet.”
Although the degree of senioritis varies, it has become a typical circumstance for high schoolers nationwide. With the prospect of summer vacation or beginning a new chapter in life as independent adults, schoolwork slips into the background.
“I would say I have senioritis, for example, I haven’t been putting in as much effort that I would have in years prior,” said Ashley Ritchie, a senior. “The most stressful part of this year has either been dealing with all the little things with college, such as financial aid or housing or trying to finish all of my school work with maximum effort.”
In an attempt to lessen this burden, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) advises students on how to combat senioritis. In addition, seniors have picked up tricks of their own on how to remain focused in class.
“What’s motivated me the most is my genuine interest in some of my classes. It’s difficult to stay focused in the classes that I don’t really take an interest in, but I have a few classes where the content is so engaging that I don’t need to force myself to focus,” Seim said. “If you completely check out your senior year, you will get very bored in your classes. If you stay engaged and sign up for some classes that really interest you, you can avoid this boredom.”
To stay motivated and avoid becoming overwhelmed with impending deadlines, students take different approaches to counter their stress.
“To combat stress I like to listen to music or drive around with my friends,” Ritchie said.
Meanwhile, other students find stress relief in other common practices.
Ahmad Fallaha, a sophomore, said, “I do multiple things to combat stress, like playing video games, watching TV, and going outdoors. I find it important to destress through each day, to stay healthy mentally and physically.”
While the difficulty to stay engaged in school continues, senioritis is just a mere reminder of how near the end of high school is.
“I try to live in the moment and not worry about things that I can’t control or that haven’t happened yet. I want to enjoy my last high school experiences,” Seim said. “Nevertheless, senioritis has not been this incapacitating lack of focus that I don’t have control over; it’s an excuse to slack off that is really tempting to use.”