Senior Kennan O’Malley was in kindergarten when he came home to his mom asking if he had homework to complete. Feeling especially unmotivated 12 years ago, he said yes and that he didn’t feel like doing it. As he recalls this event, he believes this was the beginning of his case of senioritis.
CCHS’ class of 2022 has a couple of months until graduation and many seniors are beginning to receive their college acceptance letters. These students are now, more than ever, experiencing what is known as senioritis. This is the term used to describe the decline in seniors’ work ethic, grade performance, attendance and overall motivation to do well in school.
“Everybody’s too busy looking to their future that they’re not looking at the present and I’m guilty of it too,” O’Malley said.
Many seniors have stopped attending school because they have already been accepted into college. This amount is only increasing as more college decisions are sent out. O’Malley said that ever since the Florida State decisions came out on February 17, he has seen a lot less cars in the senior lot.
This observation is also made by teachers such as Lindsay Roberts, who has students of all grades in her Spanish classes, including many seniors.
“We [teachers] do see a little bit of senioritis kick in with the seniors, especially after they’ve gotten accepted into college,” Roberts said.
While some universities have announced their decisions already, schools such as Emory University and Boston College do not send out decisions until early April. This leaves many seniors anxiously awaiting to hear back.
“I only applied to five colleges, so I was very anxious waiting to hear back because it was my future,” senior Jake Ligouri said.
One solution students have formed to get over senioritis is “senior skip days.” These days take place the Friday after the monthly professional study days and are popular among the class of 2022. Though these are not school-sanctioned or encouraged, many students have chosen to take part regardless
“Senior skip days give me the time that I need to complete work. [They] let me do things on my own time,” senior Gabrielle Sanchez said.
Sanchez is not the only senior who feels this way. On a senior skip day, it is likely to only see about a quarter of the cars in the senior lot compared to on a normal day. This leads to many twelfth-grade classes missing the majority of their students.
“I think taking a mental health day is super important. With school and everything else going on in life, being a teenager can be stressful sometimes,” senior and president of the Kids Association for Mindfulness and Education (KAME) club Adam Avin said. “So, to have a day to either hang out with friends or take time to yourself is something everyone needs.”
Teachers have a different stance on senior skip days. Roberts said her AP Spanish language class is concerningly behind due to many of her students being seniors that are absent once a month.
“When I was in high school, we had one senior skip day and it was a big deal, everybody did it and it made it fun and special,” Roberts said. “But I feel like when you have a senior skip day once a month, it takes away from it, but at that point, it also does start to negatively impact your education.”
While many seniors do participate in senior skip days, some choose not to. Senior Kennan O’Malley said he doesn’t partake in these days if he already missed a day of school that week.
Some eleventh graders have already found ways to overcome senioritis. They have begun planning a schedule for senior year during junior year to avoid unwanted stress throughout their final year of high school.
“I’ve been preparing myself by shadowing my older brother because he’s a senior right now so I’m just watching over what he’s doing to take notes,” junior Alani Santos said. “The only thing I’m dreading is really just the major workload I might get.”
However, some seniors are not experiencing senioritis and say that their work ethic has remained the same throughout their four years at CCHS. Senior Adam Avin got accepted into Syracuse University in December after applying Early Decision and has maintained the same high motivation since.
“I’ve always been someone committed to doing well in school, so I just try to keep the same attitude,” Avin said. “Even though I’m super excited to start college, I love CCHS, and this school has prepared me so well for my next chapter.”