Senioritis at its Finest

Photo By: Rosie Kacenas

Rosie Kacenas
Staff Writer

Oh, the project is due next Friday? That means I don’t need to start until Thursday night.
Second semester, senior hall is a wasteland filled with zombies being strangled by vines of antipathy.
Kayhi senior Cole Varela said he feels threatened by the grip senioritis is starting to have on his academic progress.
“Senioritis is definitely affecting my motivation to do any school work,” said Varela. “It’s hard for teachers to work around it when they have students who aren’t seniors in their classes, but they should realize that some seniors just aren’t as motivated to put in as much work.”
Most adults laugh this off, but in NYU Steinhardt’s article on senioritis, “The Dangerous, Costly Phenomenon (That Only Affects High School Seniors)”, associate professor of applied psychology, Lisa Suzuki, said that it can actually threaten the welfare of high school seniors.
“School counselors are intimately aware of the causes, symptoms, and potential negative consequences of senioritis,” said Suzuki. “It is critical that students continue to stay engaged in school to learn critical life skills needed for success in college, and create exciting and fun memories of the end of the high school years.”
Suzuki acknowledged that senior year can be incredibly hard, but also stressed the importance of seeking help when it’s needed.
“Though senior year is a time for high-schoolers to cherish and celebrate, senioritis can hinder them both in the short-term and the years ahead,” said Suzuki. “However, by recognizing the symptoms and taking steps to avoid the ill effects, parents, teachers, counselors, and students themselves can help mitigate the consequences to succeed in senior year and beyond.”
Kayhi English teacher Jeff Lund said that senioritis is often used as an excuse for students to slack off.
“People in general are looking for the easiest way out. Very few people are like, ‘I want to do the most difficult thing to get the most out of it’,” said Lund. “Because we look for shortcuts, senioritis ends up being the easiest sort of way to excuse behavior. It’s a kind of culturally accepted way of missing the mark.”
Lund explained that losing some motivation toward the end of your high school career is normal, but shouldn’t be an excuse to give up altogether.
“The academic stamina that you need to have for your entire four years starts to wane a little bit because you’re tired, and that’s totally a thing, that happens,” said Lund. “But the danger in accepting the whole ‘I just have senioritis’ is giving something else the control rather than you having the control.”
Lund said that he tries to be over-the-top negative towards senioritis so as not to encourage it. He said that he’d encourage students to use their future goals as motivation.
“If you look into the bigger picture, this is not about chemistry class, this is not about math, it’s not about English,” said Lund. “This is about your willingness to get stuff done rather than using an excuse and saying ‘oh, it’s happening to me’, you can’t do that.”
Kayhi senior Largim Zhuta said that he agrees with Lund, but also thinks that senioritis can have a real effect on students.
“I do agree that senioritis is basically just a lack of motivation, and laziness on behalf of the student,” said Zhuta. “But in high school, pretty much from my freshman to senior year, I’d say I was a motivated student, and this year I realized that I can get away with maybe putting in ten or 20 percent effort and still have my As.”
Zhuta explained that although he’s not worried about senioritis hurting his academic career, he thinks that it could be detrimental to his future.
“I think I have to be aware of it, and I have been thinking about it a lot lately, but I wouldn’t say I’m a victim to it,” said Zhuta. “Knowing the problem exists is a great first step, but then you’ve gotta take other actions to curve it.”

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