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Senioritis: stressful or stress-free

The causes, effects and cures of senioritis senioritis

Kaitlyn Minet, News Editor

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Baggy shirts, sweats and the notorious senior hoodie to top it off. Not to mention the lack of motivation.

This is a classic description of senioritis, which is viewed as seniors’ worst enemy as they believe it causes a decline in motivation and performance. But for some students, maybe senioritis is not as bad as it is made out to be.

 

Kaitlyn Minet
Senior Rebecca Hensley gives herself a senioritis ranking of 9.5. Hensley leans against a wall with her hoodie on and phone in hand.

 

As an underclassman, senior Rebecca Hensley did not see herself following in the footsteps of past seniors who caught senioritis. But now, in her last semester of senior year, she knows better.

“I did not believe in it [senioritis],” Hensley said. “I thought it was just people being lazy and not caring but now it’s been in full effect for me since the beginning of the year. It started when I would stay out late for softball games in the fall and I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning because I’d get home around 10 o’clock.”

Senior Brandon Newkirk feels senioritis spontaneously hits but most commonly in the beginning of the last semester.

“It’s worse in the second semester,” Newkirk said. “It’s your last year and your last semester of high school. You’re almost done so it just kinda hits you. The worst is watching that GPA just slowly drop down.”

 

Kaitlyn Minet
Senior Lilian Juma gives herself a senioritis ranking of 5. Juma looks out the window as she thinks of a time before senioritis.

 

Senior Lilian Juma feels the closer she gets to graduation, causes nothing else matters and her motivation to do anything else lowers.

“After completing, the most cumbersome tasks that is first semester senior year and Gold Medallion and college acceptance, everything else was minuscule,” Juma said. “The fact that I have more than enough hours, credits and what not than I need to graduate makes me feel like being in school just to kill time so even as I hit the lowest point ever academically I can’t seem to care.”

According to Newkirk, senioritis is more present at certain times than others.

“Sometimes I’m in the mood to get things done and raise my grades but then most times I’m not,” Newkirk said.

 

Kaitlyn Minet
Senior Brandon Newkirk gives himself a senioritis ranking of 11. Newkirk sits on a bench with the classic hoodie to capture his image of senioritis.

 

While some are affected by the disadvantages of senioritis and its symptoms, others claim there are benefits. Juma feels senioritis has saved her from the common troubles of being a senior.

“In my case, senioritis emancipated me from the stressfulness of senior year and allowed me to deny all the responsibilities that came with it,” Juma said. “I’m also even more optimistic about my downfalls than I ever was before senioritis.”

Hensley agrees senioritis can be used as a coping mechanism.

“It being senior year and everyone’s [parents and teachers] stressing us [seniors] out about college and I just found it’s [senioritis] a good way to avoid my problems,” Hensley said.

Besides the change in the amount of stress, Juma also notices a shift in herself.

“I think the biggest change was in attitude,” Juma said. “I think that I lost a bit of my high maintenance and I’ve matured in the fact that you can’t win everything. I’ve come to terms with the fact that everywhere I am is not the place I need to be. And I’ve accepted that not everything happens for a reason.”

While most seniors are fighting for any burst of energy, senior Derrick Lewis is defying the notion of senioritis.

“I had what you can call ‘senioritis’ freshman to junior year but I’ve had an opposite effect,” Lewis said. “I’m doing more things [than before] and I’m getting more involved. I’m starting to care more about my life and where I’m going.”

Lewis’ aspirations have helped him get his priorities straight for senior year.

“I found that what I love is theatre and music and I want to be able to pursue that in the future and in order to do that I need to actually do my work in class,” Lewis said. “With the realization of that and having more motivation I’ve been able to do more now.”

Lewis is not the only one who is getting involved to cure senioritis.

 

Kaitlyn Minet
Senior Valencia Galvan gives herself a senioritis ranking of 10. Galvan lays on a couch showing what she enjoys doing in her free time.

 

“I’m trying to be more involved,” senior Valencia Galvan said. “I’m going to join track so I can make more friends in my last year of high school.”

Seniors like Galvan have less to worry about if they have their life decisions figured out.

“I feel less stressed out because I already have my plan for the future so I don’t have anything to worry about,” Galvan said.

According to English teacher Be-Asia McKerracher, teachers should play an important role in keeping seniors on track.

“I think teachers need to do things, too,” McKerracher said. “I notice that I sometimes get lazy with seniors toward the last three weeks. With freshmen, I never let up but with my seniors, I find myself letting things go. Teachers have to be stronger. One of the ways to fight senioritis is for teachers to not give in to the clock.”

McKerracher can relate to how seniors feel when they want to give up but encourages them to fight it.

“I understand what it feels like to have senioritis,” she said. “College, in a way, is a more complicated version of high school because my senior year of college I was so sick of college. You go in there thinking college is great but by senior year I was as sick of college as I was of high school. But I knew I had to finish strong. I feel like that feeling will keep coming up in life so if you can find a way to deal with it in high school then you can probably deal with it in college then in life. If you give into it in high school it makes it easier to give in to other areas of your life.”

Galvan feels senioritis is not worth it because high school will be over soon.

“As a senior, you’re just ready to get out of here and so everyone’s ready for college and ready to move on with their lives,” Galvan said. “High school seems like something in the past.”

 

 

 

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Senioritis: stressful or stress-free