As an underclassman, you are constantly warned that no grade level in high school will be as difficult as the notorious junior year. It is filled with demands to take challenging classes, to earn high grades, and to perform well on standardized tests. Moreover, no junior year would be complete without the hassles of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the stress of permit and driving tests.
Juniors have the struggle of preparing for their futures and looking at colleges and careers. If you do manage to survive and progress to senior year, often considered and anticipated to be the best year of high school, you have made it to the top of the heap. You now have your own space in the Senior Courtyard, and you are granted your own real estate in the student parking lot. The pressure to receive stellar grades has begun to dissipate, and (eventually) all of your college applications are submitted.
But then… It smacks you right in the face: the farcical “disease” commonly referred to as “Senioritis.”
The term “Senioritis” is not just teenage lingo anymore; it has become so commonly used that some may expect to find it in a Medical Reference book. In fact, former Fairfax County School Board member, Kris Amundson, has even addressed the “disease,” stating that Senioritis has become increasingly worse over the past couple of years. She attributes this to the mounting “pressure on high school seniors to get into ‘the right college.’”
Symptoms of this crippling illness may include, but are not limited to, a poor attitude about school and homework, general malaise and severe apathy. This behavior and lack of motivation may serve to harm the relationship between the affected students and their teachers.
Twelfth grade English teacher Ms. Lisa Vitali extremely believes Senioritis is a fictitious disease. “You can’t add ‘itis’ to the end of a word and claim it exists,” said Ms. Vitali. She advised seniors to continue to work hard and attend class, as that will make a lasting impression on their teachers.
Furthermore, this supposed affliction may well interfere with the dynamics between the underclassmen and seniors. Behaving lazy and skipping classes has unintended consequences and impacts other students as well.
“It’s annoying how seniors won’t help in group projects now,” said junior Amanda Ross. “It just gives [the juniors] more work.”
Despite all of these issues, many seniors still argue that claiming or feigning Senioritis is a right of passage, well-deserved after persevering through a demanding three years of high school. It may also provide incentives to observant juniors to study harder in anticipation of a more relaxing senior year.
Junior Maya Takashima explained, “This year has been really challenging, but I keep working because I know that it is really important. But when I get to senior year, I’m ready to just relax!”
Regardless of whether you are a current senior or a future one, it is important that you be cautious when self-diagnosing and declaring that you have a case of Senioritis. After all, first and second semester grades are automatically sent out in the form of “Midyear Reports” to the colleges to which you are applying.
The College Board has also addressed the possible danger of slacking off, warning students, “Every year, colleges rescind offers of admission, put students on academic probation or alter financial aid packages as a result of ‘senioritis.’”
So, stay healthy, seniors!