Senioritis: combatting the seasonal slacking


Caitlin Trude

Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Every year, the same academic epidemic takes its toll on students, and the 2011-2012 school year has been no different, as this disheartening disease has affected the health of a number of seniors throughout the district. Though early signs of the epidemic may be detected as early as freshman year, I’ve noticed (as a senior myself) that the spread of senioritis has especially brought down the morale of the soon-to-be graduating class of 2012.

According to the oh-so reliable Urban Dictionary, senioritis can be defined as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors” whose symptoms may include “laziness” and “features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude,” whose only known cure is graduation.

I’ve seen the signs on Facebook, heard the symptoms verbally, and experienced some of the what-I’m-doing-now-is-much-more-important-than-Zangle situations that all have the “Who cares I’m a senior, blowing off (fill in the blank with current assignment) just this once won’t be that bad” tone in common, though in varying degrees.

It seems justified after hearing the “finish strong” mantra over and over and over again, right? Well, no. Remember that it’s never too late for colleges to pull back their acceptances. Don’t find yourself receiving a surprise phone call from UC Berkeley telling you “Hey, guess what? Your second semester grades aren’t up to par anymore, so were taking back your acceptance. Good luck at your back-up school!”

Don’t risk being trapped at a school you’d rather not be at while all your hardworking friends are out leading adventurous college lives at their dream schools.

Also, twenty years or so from now, do you want your kids stumbling upon your high school transcript from way back when and see how much you may have epically failed at the end of senior year? No? Finish strong my friends, graduation will come sooner the less you think about it.

The way to go about keeping up that senior morale is similar to the way one goes about preparing to slay semester finals or AP tests. Reward yourself when you reach your goals, and keep a fair balance between playtime and buckling down to get work done.

Which brings me to my next point: running a tight ship as far as grades go is all fine and dandy, but remember to live a little. When choosing between a beach bonfire with friends I may not see as much after high school or studying a chapter ahead in AP Psychology, you can bet your Fresh and Easy money that I’ll be out there with a coat hanger, ready to set marshmallows ablaze.

Which also brings me to another point: Far too many times this year, I’ve heard laments of “Ventura is sooo lame, when’s college?” or “I can’t wait to just leave.” Whine, whine, whine.

Occasionally, hearing these things is like a virtual slap to the face. Are you really so eager to leave laid-back Ventura that you wouldn’t give so much as a second thought to the faces you’re leaving behind? Ouch. I suppose if your high school years were truly that awful it’s understandable, but otherwise, you just might find yourself listening to Bryan Adams’s “Summer of ’69” on repeat whilst reminiscing on the good old days.

By the time you make like a “Tom” and cruise off to your college years, you might be shocked by how fast time goes. The next glimpse of yourself in the mirror, you might be fifty already, wondering how your high school glory days passed you by in such a blur.

So, my fellow senior cohorts, take heart. While the jumble of transcripts, homework, textbooks, and procrastination seems endless, the end is indeed near. Spring break is not so far off. And when you return from your adventures at home or abroad, we’ll hit the ground running and be donning wizard robes and tassels soon enough.

What do you think?