Second semester of senior year rolls around, and all you can think of is the mere four months you have left of high school. Laziness and procrastination kicks in, and you slowly start to care less and less about each night’s schoolwork and focus more on future plans. Grades slowly start to decrease, but the anxiety and panic that used to follow is nowhere to be found. This state of mind, also known as “senioritis,” was named after high school seniors’ lack of motivation for the rest of the semester up until graduation. Defined in an urban dictionary as “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors, [senioritis] features a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.”
However, “senioritis” is simply what people call this feeling because it mainly happens to seniors in high school, when in reality, laziness and lack of motivation happen to many students of various grades (generally upperclassmen). Some of the characteristics of senioritis consist of favoring distractions such as friends and food, procrastinating, skipping class more often and neglecting school tasks that need to be completed.
While this epidemic might seem like an inevitable disease, the term “senioritis” is just a blanket term for the reality- you don’t want to work anymore. “I see [senioritis] affecting student here too often,” Honors Physics teacher Mrs. Miranda Chin explained. Her physics classes are mostly comprised of juniors and seniors, and too often, she faces this problem with the graduating class. “People make it a thing and, in a way, it’s acting like a placebo effect and an excuse to cover laziness. It’s not a real disease or something that is diagnosed; it’s more about mind over matter and the fact that they think that just because they are seniors, they get to slack off.”
Some things to help overcome this lack of motivation include setting small objectives leading up to bigger tasks, giving yourself occasional rewards, changing your go-to study environment, taking scheduled breaks and organizing yourself. Academic adviser of the Southern New Hampshire University, Abby Tincher, said students should “keep a positive attitude through the end and keep reminding yourself of your end goal.” Senioritis can happen to virtually anyone, whether it brings significant academic changes or none at all. Obviously, senioritis is not something to try and achieve, but if you feel senioritis starting to creep up on you this semester, remember that your hard work is all worth it in the end. Because whether you continue towards a college education or not, many of the habits picked up during your high school years will last a lifetime.
Lisa Suzuki, associate professor of applied psychology at NYU reminds us that “it is critical that students continue to stay engaged in school to learn critical life skills needed for success in college and create exciting and fun memories of the end of the high school years.” To the seniors experiencing senioritis this semester, there are approximately three months until graduation; relish these last few months but also take advantage of them and end the year positively. To anyone who is not a senior, take a deep breath and get back to working towards your goals.