Understanding Senioritis

All throughout high school, I was always friends with people in grades above me. A topic that has always come around this time of year was “senioritis.” Senioritis, according to Urban Dictionary, is “A disease affecting mostly high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, lack of motivation, excessive absences in school, putting off assignments till the very last minute (more than usual), etc.” I would always tell myself that I love being busy and productive, so I wouldn’t have similar experiences with senioritis, right? Wrong. What I didn’t realize was that senioritis takes a toll on you in multiple different forms. It’s a combination of burnout, lack of motivation, and feeling of uselessness all mushed together to create an extra burden for getting up in the morning. 

I’ve always loved working and being productive, and finding avenues to make working fun (I’m writing this in a coffee shop in Long Beach that I found exploring areas near one of the places I work at). However, second semester senior year just led to me staring at an assignment, thinking “I do not want to do this at all. I wonder if my friend did it and if they could send it to me.” That friend did not do it and asked if I could send the assignment to them. 

Working during classes even became difficult. When we have free time to do an assignment in a class, I usually think I’ll do it later, and then decide to look for prom dresses or plane tickets. Sometimes, though, I convince myself to do the assignment with the mindset that if I don’t do it now, I will have to do it later, and that it won’t be easier to do it later. For some subjects, like AP Gov, IB English, and occasionally IBESS, that mindset works. However, for AP Psych and yearbook, that mindset rarely works. I always end up putting those assignments for the very last minute, and barely do them.  

For me, doing the work was actually one of the least difficult parts of senioritis. I found motivation to do it, thinking I don’t want schools to rescind their acceptances (which can happen if you’re thinking of competitive schools), I don’t like teachers thinking I’m slacking, and (honestly) I like when the Aeries is green instead of yellow. It becomes difficult to do assignments, but studying becomes even harder, and that’s something I barely do now. 

Something that is increasingly difficult is going to school. At one point, I realized that 99% of things I do in half of my classes take less time to do on my own, and I can miss class. The moment I walk into class, I have the thought of, “I don’t want to be here, can my mom call me out early?” I honestly do not remember the last time I went to every single one of my classes in a week. I’ve always skipped at least one period a week. Am I proud of it? Not particularly. Am I going to start caring about my attendance? Probably not. Honestly, my parents, college counselor who is my bestie, and even extended family empathize with it. My aunts even help convince my mom to let me skip: “She’s a senior who got into good schools. She doesn’t need to go to school anymore. It doesn’t matter.” I need extra motivation to show up to school, so I try my best to make it as entertaining as possible.

 One of my classes is heavily discussion based, and missing that class means writing out the assignment we talked about in class, which is not a trade I try to make, since I love the discussions in that class (shout out 3rd period Miller). It’s also really easy to read for that class, since I like the books we read, and if we prove we’re reading through our supplemental assignments, then we might not get quizzes. Other than that, I love most of my teachers (all but one. They will not be named), but hate showing up to class, which sucks because then I don’t see them. Most of my classes are senior only or junior/senior only, so most teachers are really empathetic about senioritis, and their classes chill out around now (except for that one I already talked about). Since I’m in all AP’s, the learning in my classes ends in late April, then review, then take the AP exam, then chill in classes waiting for the school year to be over, or doing projects to boost grades. I often make the joke that after AP exam season, I’m barely going to show up to school, but honestly, I’m not so sure that’s a joke anymore. I have family in Boston and San Francisco, and I want to go see them. I think it’s time to buy my plane ticket.

It’s easy to stop caring after college acceptances, but if you’re waitlisted at a college you would love to attend, try to think of your letters of continued interest and how you want to brag about raising or maintaining your grades.

Senioritis is very real and something most seniors can relate to, all to different extents, but still relate. Remember that you’re not alone, and to push through. In a couple years, you will be wishing you were back in 3rd period IB English with Miss Miller, instead of dealing with real life and taxes. You’re never going to be in high school again, so try to live it out as much as you can. It’s not easy, but it’s almost over. Try your best to make school as much fun as you can, and remember to find joy in the little things of high school you’re not going to get ever again. Along with that, try to go to as many other things as you can! I’ve been to more games and events this year than the last three years of high school combined, and I love it. Try your best to have fun for the rest of this year, it’s almost over. You only get one senior year, make it count!