Senioritis: An Epidemic?

Robert Igbokwe For many seniors finally finishing up college applications or finding out whether or not they’ve gotten into their dream school, the start of the second semester is really just in-school summer break. Although this feeling isn’t necessarily universal, it seems that more seniors are turning up tardy to class and, on occasion, even missing it. Assignments are missing and, of the ones being turned in, many are subpar. In some cases, there’s even an increase in behavioral infractions. All symptoms point to the yearly epidemic: “senioritis.” But what exactly is senioritis? I asked a few seniors what the mysterious illness meant to them. “Senioritis is real and while I have yet to feel it, I know many of peers have already fallen victim to it… of my friends, those that typically start to care less about school are those that have already gotten into the college of their choice. They have in most cases stopped doing homework altogether or half-ass their classroom assignments,” says senior, Brandon Pita.    While this may seem typical of your average senior, it is certainly something to worry about. Because, senior or not, there is still a second semester to get through. One major source of stress may be gone but many seniors are participating in internships, Senior Projects/Capstone, ISPs, and just their usual classes; all things that require their usual work ethic and commitment. Senioritis can also negatively affect acceptances. Although students usually submit their transcript through their first semester of senior year, colleges will request to see grades from the second semester once available. Large disparities between this semester’s grades and the rest of a student’s transcript can lead many institutions to question whether the student is truly committed to their education, or if they have the maturity to continue their education at a university level. This can lead to students being placed on academic probation, the loss of merited financial aid awards, and, in the worst cases, rescinded acceptances. It’s clear that senioritis is a problem, but it’s not necessarily all bad. The epidemic effects seniors in different ways, and while senioritis may equate to reduced ethic for some, many others see the “disease” as an opportunity to take a much deserved break. Brandon Pita says, “While I believe that school should matter all the way up until graduation, I completely understand why students fall to senioritis. After 4 years of a Latin education students are looking for a break, a chance to breathe.” For some, senioritis is arguably a cure to the stress of senior year rather than a disease. Senior, David Malkin says, “Senioritis hasn’t kept me from completing my homework, learning, and engaging in the classroom; it has just removed some of the stress associated with assignments. If anything, it allows me to enjoy what I am learning more and try to improve before heading off to college.” While the infamous affliction has both its quirks and perks, the causes behind senioritis present a somewhat dark reality. After all, the phenomenon is born from the idea that once a student has finished their work for college, there isn’t a reason to continue working. “It’s sad because it shows that people do everything for college,” says Brynn Ovitz on the causes of senioritis. Regardless of what drives someone, senior year and high school in general is an opportunity to learn new things, discover passions, and anticipate the future.]]>