SENIORITIS: Plague Sweeps Senior Class

Lola Pitman, Opinions Editor

Senioritis is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and low- er grades.” And as I sit here, a senior in my second semester of high school, I wonder if that is all senioritis really is. Am I just lazy? Has the academic weapon in me finally failed? Or am I lacking the resources and understand- ing from my community to succeed?

Senioritis is something seniors con- front as they approach a significant change in their life. Senior year is of- ten the first big change in their life, so learning to handle it effectively helps facilitate future shifts. This feeling, this sickness, should be handled with more care and consideration. Once seniors are accepted to a college or choose their path beyond high school, the work that al- ways held meaning becomes swallowed by the abyss that is the question of the future. The once shiny first-place med- al of the 12-year-long marathon morphs itself into a monster rearing its head, a monster called life and adulthood.

Some might share the sentiment that my sister, Bella Pitman, Brown University Sophomore, commented, “Senioritis is just you not wanting to work and putting a name to your laziness.” However, if it was truly laziness and not a scary lack of self, then students wouldn’t end up attending graduation. Also, if laziness is all that senioritis

stands for, academically savvy students, such as longtime Advanced Placement (AP) students, would not be affected, as they have never succumbed to laziness before. However, even AP students face senioritis, as according to Catherine Gewertz’s article titled, “Yes, Colleges Can Rescind Admission Offers. Here’s What Educators Need to Know,” major colleges write in their acceptance letter fine print that admission is contingent upon continued academic performance.

A New York Times article titled “How to Cure the New Senioritis? Make Your- self Your Senior Project,” shared a few insights on self-help listing cures like “Get a Job,” “Date Someone,” “Practice Adulting,” “Put Down Your Phone,” and “Pursue Your Passion.” Having taken this advice and followed these recommendations, I pursued a passion of mine: baking. As the cookies bake in the oven, I am forced to contend with empty time, and I do so by sitting down to do home- work. However, for many others, this advice has not been shared. Many others will continue to face the tsunami com- ing their way and they won’t have the safety boat that I have found. By reading about senioritis, I have found my safety boat. So, through working to understand seniors’ struggles and sharing resources and advice to help them, schools and faculty can throw students a safety net, with recommendations, a bit of padding on late assignments, and support to turn to.