A case of senioritis
You’re back from winter break your senior year and you just finished first semester exams.
In five months, you’ll be graduated and out the door, 12 years of education under your belt.
So why is it during this stretch of time, many, if not all, seniors start slacking and letting their grades fall?
A common malady, otherwise known as “senioritis”, is what this is. Why exactly does this affect so many students?
While most students are getting back to the grind, the second semester is what most seniors view as breeze, most already having their future plans and accepted to a college or university. While it is extremely commonplace, it is not justifiable.
Senior English teacher Joy Wagener blames it partially on snow days.
“The cancellations and snow make students more apathetic,” she said. Ms. Wagner describes the second semester as more laid back, when “students and teachers are more comfortable, allowing more ‘funny business’ to slide by.”
She does not support the shenanigans, or falling behind in class.
“If your whole high school career is a marathon, do you walk the last mile?” she asked.
When James Hentges, mathematics teacher, was asked if he noticed a difference in seniors during the semester a warm grin lit up his face as he exclaimed, “Oh yes, [there’s] a HUGE difference.”
One of his key points was that while students have been accepted, “scholarships are still reliable on the final GPA.” He tries to keep students on top of their game by collecting less and less homework as the second quarter progresses, hoping students develop a work ethic for when they leave for college.
Deb Drew, an AP English teacher, stresses “live for everyday, don’t focus on the future.”
She is aware of how difficult it is to keep students’ attention after the holiday break, but she works her hardest to keep them concentrated on now.
“There’s no way to prevent it,” she said. “(It’s) just a part of seeing the end of something so big.”
Although many teachers agree that senioritis is inevitable, they know students are aware of the symptoms. Students by the masses, however, are still trying their hardest in keeping their grades above or at average level.
Senior Kate Walcher, a student in several AP classes, says senioritis has been affecting her since the beginning of the year, “but it’s become more prominent after I was accepted into college.”
She feels less drive to do well in classes since “the grade doesn’t matter at this point.” Walcher doesn’t necessarily see it as slacking off, but as students are finally, “given a choice whether to not be stressed out about school, and (they’re) deciding to see it.”
Senioritis is spreading.
“Since I’ve already been accepted to school, I don’t feel the motivation I did in previous years,” confesses Emma Dennis, a senior. “It’s more about finally being able to relax and not freak out about classes.”
Dennis explains that now that she has “classroom and lecture experience,” she has a good feel for how to take exams and standardized tests. “I love my classes and teachers,” Dennis said. “But I definitely feel that students, myself included, are unwinding now that graduation is only a few months away.”
Ask any senior or teacher and they can tell you the real-life effects or senioritis. A majority of students are taking this time to procrastinate or pay less attention in class, while still being able to keep a steady hold on their studies. At this point, the main goal is getting passing grades in order to get that shiny diploma at the end of May.
Good luck to all of the seniors of 2015 in their future endeavors!