Spartan Spear: Senioritis
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
By Christina Green '20
Editor's Note: this op-ed was written before the onset of the coronavirus situation. Though our circumstances have changed dramatically, hopefully the writer’s insights still apply to us in some ways.
According to Merriam-Webster, senioritis means “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” Senioritis affects second-semester seniors--students trying to pass their last semester of high school before graduation. As a senior at ICA Cristo Rey Academy, I can say that “senioritis” does exist. Although some may say that it is an excuse to slack off, I notice that seniors being bombarded with academics, home-life, leadership, extracurricular activities, social life, and the college admissions process result in this “I’m done” state known as senioritis.
Imagine the pressures and expectations for college-bound high school students who are experiencing the finish-line mindset: feeling that their primary goal, in this case college acceptances, has been achieved, and they no longer see the point of putting much effort into their remaining classes. 69.7% of high-school seniors in an NYU survey agreed that “[their] academic effort will most likely decline in the second semester of [their] senior year,” compared with 29.7% of freshmen students. This can even result in drop-outs, with over 1.2 million high-school student drop-outs in the U.S. every year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
My peers and I are also experiencing senioritis, feeling symptoms of low energy, severe procrastination, diminished ability to concentrate, repeated tardiness or absences, and uncompleted tardiness--just to name a few. But here are some ways to combat senioritis that I found helpful in my endeavors: 1) organize and de-clutter yourself, 2) make time for relaxation or “me-time,” 3) study smarter, not harder, and 4) be persistent in your work and schedule. By recognizing these symptoms and taking steps to mitigate the senioritis phenomenon you are sure to succeed in senior year and the future.