Photo credit: Janice Marie Foote via Flickr.

We all lose focus when the sun comes out. After a long, cold, and dark winter, the weather finally changes, and we can enjoy the sunshine, catching the vitamin D everyone needs. For seniors, this is more than a feeling. It’s reminiscent of an illness, which some have dubbed “Senioritis.”

“Senioritis” is a loss of motivation by those enduring their last semester of high school. For many seniors at Collegiate, this is the time to take the foot off of the gas pedal, and just glide through the rest of the year… Until about midway through April, when seniors remember they still are, in fact, at school, and much to all of our dismay, still have to do work.

There is no found cure to “Senioritis.” Teachers have tried everything; assigning more homework, or assigning less homework, but either way the senior will either A) not do it or B) scribble in answers during the invisible five minute break between classes. Some seniors manage to get away with this: the ones who can think and work fast, or just understand class topics well without much drive to do so. Others, like myself, are not so lucky, and must work hard to understand concepts. However, working hard for a grade becomes quite tough once second semester rolls around.

Photo credit: User Hades 2k via Flickr.

The timing of the onset of Senioritis depends upon two things: 1) when a senior decides on which college to attend, and 2) when other seniors are struck with the loss of motivation There is no doubt that Senioritis is contagious.

With the upcoming end of senior year, everyone is pretty emotional. Some can not wait to go to college. “I’m ready to blast,” Bobbie Edmunds (‘17) told me. She went on, “Some of my teachers have decided now is a good time to assign a project because they think that will make me not have senioritis, but au contraire, it just makes me angry and even less motivated than before.” Other seniors, like Elizabeth Howell (‘17), are upset about finishing Upper School. “I’m sad to leave because I’ve been here for thirteen years, and I’ve never been a new kid. This is all I’ve really ever known.”

It is hard to think about the end of high school, with teachers piling on more work and assigning projects. Seniors are beginning to feel like the end of an era comes with more hoops to jump through than they previously imagined. Second semester of senior year has always been thought of as a time where seniors can kick back and relax. Yet the majority of the class of 2017 feels as if they have not been able to do so. This is not because teachers are purposefully assigning more work or wanting their students to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to get their work done, but more because many seniors challenged themselves by signing up for multiple AP classes at the end of senior year. The thinking was that by second semester, the workload would calm down. For anyone who has ever taken an AP class before, second semester is definitely not when the class slows down. Teachers and students both must scramble to teach and learn everything before the AP exams in mid-May.

While Senioritis may consume the lives of students, some teachers, like Upper School English teacher (and Match mentor) Vlastik Svab have found ways to heal. “I try to design my classes so that seniors who are missing for APs and college visits can work on projects on their own time,” Svab told me. He does not “notice a lot of [senioritis] here as much as other schools.” Svab understands the sentiments of most seniors: “I was a senior once, so I have fond memories.”

The illness not only affects seniors, but also the people in other grades who take classes with them. Spencer Lyons (18’) informed me that he suffers from “Junioritis,” Symptoms of this are similar to those of Senioritis, but for juniors.

While times may be tough for many students right now, with class and AP exams right around the corner, everyone will turn out fine. Senioritis is a normal thing for many to undergo their senior year, so enjoy it, because in a few months the feeling will be forgotten.

Featured photo by Scott Ackerman via Flickr.

About the author

Olivia is a senior at Collegiate and co-chair of SCA.