(HS Insider)


Opinion: The reality of ‘senioritis’ and how can students can fight it

Seniors struggle with motivation, but some combat it by rewarding themselves for hard work and breaking up tasks to avoid burnout.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/jbynscrug05/" target="_self">J'Dyn Scruggs</a>

J'Dyn Scruggs

March 3, 2023
Are you a senior in high school? Do you lack any motivation to do any type of work? Then maybe you have senioritis.

The term “senioritis” is defined by Oxford dictionaries as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”

Suppose you were ever to catch a case of senioritis. The symptoms that you should watch out for are a reduction in grades, not finishing homework, procrastination, and a loss of enthusiasm for studying. You may even begin missing classes or submitting mediocre work.

I believe that the term “senioritis” is an actual thing that occurs to seniors in their final years. As a senior, I believe there is a difference between someone who lacks motivation and can do work later and a person who feels so overwhelmed to the point that they just want to drop everything and not do anything to have a bit of relaxation in their life.

To gain some more information to see if this “term” is actually factual. I conducted interviews with senior students and teachers at John Marshall High School to see their viewpoints about senioritis being an actual thing that happens to seniors in their final years and their experiences with dealing with and seeing senioritis.

The first people with whom I conducted an interview were the teachers at JMHS. I mean, who better to interview about senioritis than the people who have taught seniors for years? 

The teachers that I interviewed all admitted to believing that senioritis is a thing that occurs in their senior students but also expressed other opinions about the term and why they believed it was an actual thing that occurs.

“Realistically, I do believe that it’s real, but I don’t accept it as a legitimate reason to not do well or miss out on school,” said school librarian and journalism teacher Benin Lemus.

Some teachers said they believe that senioritis is a real thing as they noticed with past seniors, the students became detached from school after doing college applications and expecting the next stage of life. They said they have seen some kids taking shortcuts or cheating on assignments, not turning in any assignments, missing periods, and showing a lack of motivation and performance in assignments.

“The worst situation occurred when students had good grades but became apathetic, took shortcuts, and didn’t come to class,” said Government & Economics teacher Jose Salas.

Some teachers changed to relate to what the students were feeling, put them in group activities, made their lessons interesting, helped around the class, and gave the seniors a leadership-type role, while others kept the same flow.

“I often will change up projects for seniors’ incentives and have them help around the class and let them have leadership roles,” said Design Craft teacher Rachel Barshish.

Seniors who feel affected by senioritis shared their perspectives. Unsurprisingly, these seniors were true believers in senioritis. 

“New responsibilities are coming up, such as college apps, financing, etc. — the cusp of adulthood and childhood is rough,” senior Raylyn Lenor said. “Hormones are going crazy, and mood changes happen more often.”

I asked if they were experiencing senioritis, and they agreed that they definitely were, but some said that they weren’t dealing with it drastically.

Some express that it is difficult to prevent their senioritis since it constantly happens and forces them to constantly do work for long hours, while some have found support systems from a loved one, rewarding themselves for their hard work, and breaking up their work so they won’t burn out. 

“I try to break up the work in bite sizes and I try to remind myself that everyone has these feelings of being overwhelmed sometime in their lives,” senior Ravyn McCarter said. “It’s normal to be nervous about the future, but I am going at it one day at a time.”

I’ve also been experiencing some of the symptoms of senioritis, but it’s mostly a lack of enthusiasm and procrastination when it comes to my schoolwork and homework, which I’ve managed by watching relaxing videos, listening to podcasts, or video chatting with my friends. 

To combat senioritis, I recommend doing something that requires more listening than watching so that you can build enthusiasm without becoming distracted or overwhelmed.

Opinion: An Assault on Education

Opinion: An Assault on Education

Earlier last month, the Supreme Court struck down race-conscious admissions in cases against Harvard and the University of North California. Just one day later, they ruled that the Biden Administration overstepped with their plan to wipe out $400 billion in student...