By JOE LUETKEHANS– Seniors, this one’s for you. Every year at IHS and in every other high school around the country, many senior students begin to feel tired and unmotivated as their final year of public education stretches on.
Senioritis, as it has affectionately been named, has become so big of a part of high school life that it is often given its own superlative in the yearbook; however, the repercussions of this may be a bigger deal than people often think.
Every year, IHS awards two senior students the superlative of “Worst case of senioritis”. Of course, this is given playfully and in a lighthearted manner, but the winners often find a degree of truth in their new title.
Senior Brandon Brocious was given the boys’ award this year and states that it didn’t come as a surprise. “I believe senioritis is a real thing for many reasons. As you come upon your senior year, you begin to get tired of doing the same repetitive things for the fourth year in a row such as seeing the same students, the same teachers, etc… I personally feel like I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things.”
Many other IHS students are inclined to agree. From most students’ perspectives, high school can become a drag by the fourth time around. The daily grind can be tiring, especially when so many students are working hard to prepare for the transition to university.
Between studying for tests like the SAT and ACT, keeping a close watch on one’s GPA, and dealing with the daily drama that comes from any building full of hormonal teenagers, high school can be overwhelming. While they are granted the gift of a three-month summer vacation, apathy can still sneak up on many students and attack when they let their guard down.
Whether they’re the class valedictorian or in the sub 1.0 GPA club, every senior student will feel a degree of senioritis in their last year. It has permeated high school culture and soaked into the American education system at an alarming rate.
What was once a funny “affliction” that wasn’t taken seriously has become a legitimate problem for more than just high school students. Some unlucky to-be graduates have seen their grades slip to a point of no return, even being dropped by prospective colleges for their loss of grip on their last year of schooling.
This is not to say that those who are affected by senioritis are bad students; in fact, these are rare scenarios that strike only an unlucky few. Most, such as senior student Becky Shellenbarger, embrace the apathetic feelings and stay motivated despite them. “I feel like a lot of people try really hard the first few years and burn out after being accepted to college… you can’t let it become a problem though.” Shellenbarger was the girls’ 2017 winner of “Worst case of senioritis”, but only chocks this up to having been seen with the occasional pair of baggy sweatpants or a blanket worn as an accessory.
A healthy amount of senioritis might lead someone to say, “That paper can wait until tomorrow night,” or “I’ll do it in the morning.” When students begin to neglect their responsibilities and let their grades drop, the real problem begins.
Senior Halle Angelo, another self-professed senioritis patient, believes that she’s always been one to handle things casually. “I am always one to say ‘It’s senior year, I can just take it easy.’ I think seniors lose motivation because they are already in the process of being accepted to college… They don’t have to worry about the rest of the year since they know where they’re going.”
Both seniors and underclassmen can benefit from warnings about the dangers that senioritis can bring. Just remember: no matter how bad school might seem to be, the dangers of giving up can be so much worse.
[Photo by Joe Luetkehans]
Caption: Senior Becky Shellenbarger, winner of the “worst case of senioritis” award, takes a nap while studying.