By Aliscia Phillips, Staff Writer
Note: This article was written prior to the state’s stay-at-home order.
Senioritis is a common phenomenon in students nearing graduation. It’s typically classified as a lack of motivation and occurs because students get caught under the false assumption that they don’t have to try as hard since they are so close to the finish line. Other times, students just stop caring because they’re ready to move on to the next step of their lives. Because of this, they often fall behind and miss out on opportunities their senior year.
Other symptoms of this “affliction” may include procrastination, loss of interest in class subjects, a drop in grades, and a lack of effort. Students here at Bio-Med are already noticing and feeling the effects, which is why it’s important to learn how to ward it off before it becomes too late.
According to senior Gage Kuszmaul, “Come March, April, May, these kids are accepting offers to colleges and then think they are in the clear, but they are not. They may lose out on many scholarships just because they blew off their last few months of school, tanking their GPA.”
If this affliction can’t be kept under wraps, the consequences could cost students. Gage also explains, “If I do not get a scholarship because of [senioritis] I will quite literally be ‘paying’ the consequences.”
Colleges can take away scholarships and even acceptances if the applicant no longer meets the requirements upon graduation.
Senioritis can be a serious issue if not dealt with, but not to worry as there are plenty of ways to avoid it. It isn’t always easy staying motivated, but a simple first step is for people to remind themselves of their goal and the progress they’ve made. With an objective in mind, it’s much easier to stay on track and avoid slacking off.
For example, Eryka Lund says, “There are a lot of important things I need to do and I’m going to do them, but I just have such a strong sense of apathy at this point.”
She gets by with short bouts of motivation, but if motivation can be better maintained, stress can be minimized and students will be less likely to fall behind.
Even teachers feel the effects of senioritis and want to see their students succeed in their final year. Ms. Berry describes how it drives her “absolutely crazy” because, especially in her math classes, students spend the year “building their toolboxes” so that they can understand the complex topics towards the end of the year. However, students are checking out before the big finish and they’re unable to properly fit the pieces together at the end of the year. It causes students to be unprepared because they haven’t fully grasped the building blocks of math. Ms. Berry advises that students be mature enough to have personal agency over their schoolwork, saying, “It’s hard to completely ignore the feeling of senioritis because you’re ending a stage of life and entering a new one which is something to be celebrated and enjoyed, but you need to stay on topic when necessary.”
If a student is struggling, it can also be helpful to talk to teachers or a guidance counselor who will help students set goals and give tips on how to follow through with them. One strategy is to create a reward system and set up checkpoints so that a student is always incentivized to keep going. Taking breaks is also important if seniors are feeling overwhelmed, but be sure that students hold themselves accountable and don’t allow small breaks to develop into procrastination.
Gage offers this piece of advice: “It seems fun to blow off school and just have fun but you have made it this far; just hold out a little longer and then you can have fun. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun now, just know when to be serious and when not to be.” A healthy balance between school and recreational time is yet another essential piece in avoiding burnout so close to the end.