BY RYAN MERARD
After three years of high school and plenty of years of school even before that, the ultimate goal of graduating is closer than ever for seniors. However, as the last two semesters progress, the infamous trait among seniors called “senioritis” can sweep through a great deal of the graduating class, causing a lack of effort to be seen inside the classrooms.
“Senioritis” is usually used as a joke or an excuse among students and teachers to describe one’s lack of motivation in school and it’s also usually used to portray this lack of emotion as laziness as they reach the end of their high school years. However, with tasks such as figuring out a plan for secondary education and an ongoing transition into adulthood, seniors seeming like they are not putting enough effort can be due to much more than laziness.
Seniors showing lacking effort in their schoolwork is not just them choosing to slack on assignments, but rather being burnt out from all the extra pressure they have faced and will continue to face as they move towards a life after grade school.
The Mayo Clinic describes “burnout” as a special type of stress that can lead to physical exhaustion and also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and lack of motivation. Stress and burnout go hand in hand, as having too much stress can spill out into several aspects of life. Going into senior year, there is much to look forward to, but there is also added pressure that comes with setting up a future for oneself for the first time.
Going into senior year, there is much to look forward to, but there is also added pressure that comes with setting up a future for oneself for the first time.
The last year of high school is arguably the best year of high school and it has every right to be looked at as so. Many will point towards the unique benefits of senior year: being top dog on campus, senior breakfast celebrations and getting the best parking spots. However, even with all of these perks, senior year can still have its hurdles.
For many students, this is a time where students are dealing with college applications, looking for scholarships and possibly retaking standardized tests. With additional tasks like these placed on top of regular school work and extracurricular activities, more stress is able to be produced and signs of less effort being put in may become more visible.
Preparing for college is also much more than just applying and waiting for admissions. Once students get accepted, they now have to figure out how to apply for financial aid and how they will eventually pay for their tuition and fees, as well as deciding if they will commute to school or live on campus. Funding for secondary education is very important as most students strive to avoid major debt, so worries like these can serve as an underlying challenge throughout the entire senior year for some students.
Senioritis is usually looked at as a joke, but the causes for this lack of motivation can be very serious as students may face states of “burnout” while finishing up their last year of high school.
Every student’s family and financial situations are different, so these decisions that have to be made can affect students in multiple ways. Some would be able to easily set themselves up with a plan that satisfies them, yet for others these decisions may bring up added stress, worry and can even put them in a state of insecurity. As important as mental health is in today’s society, being in a negative state of mind is enough to take a toll on a student’s performance in school.
Senioritis is usually looked at as a joke, but the causes for this lack of motivation can be very serious as students may face states of “burnout” while finishing up their last year of high school. It is understood that the goal of graduation is just months away for seniors, but there is still much work to be done past that finish line to become successful in their lives.
Whatever route a student may take after high school, much of the actual preparation for their transition into adulthood is done during their senior year. It’s not just about laziness, but rather that senior year pressures students to plan more on their future, taking away from the effort they may put into the present.
Illustrations by Sofie Kahlig