Originally Posted: Nov 3, 2015
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Senioritis. noun. se-nior-i-tis: an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades
As soon as senior year started, I became certain of one thing: senioritis is real.
You hear the term thrown around jokingly as an underclassman, and if you’re anything like me, you think to yourself, "That’ll never be me." Welp, I was wrong. And that is certainly me.
But the most important thing about this revelation was that it didn’t come the way I had expected it to: during the middle of the year full of difficult courses, after receiving college acceptance letters, post–prom dress. No. It came the first day of school, during third period, actually. And the feeling has yet to pass.
For me, senioritis had its roots in two main causes. The first was a certain loneliness I felt from not having many classes with my friends. There isn’t the promise of a laugh as you spend all night messaging over homework, but rather empty expressions and due dates. Additionally, when you’re taking a bunch of college-prep courses, it feels like that’s all you really have, which is draining.
The second cause of my early-onset senioritis was indecisiveness. I’m not sure how much work I’ll really be able to handle, but I want to do as much as possible. I feel years of ambitious dreams encumbering me, and the weight of my hopes makes me want to shut down, even if it’s just for a little while. Oh, where did the summer go!
In choosing a senior year schedule, there is so much to consider, and you need to think strategically. (No one tells you this either.) You need to make sure you’re getting something out of all your classes: a challenge, new experiences, valuable information. At the same time, you’re worried about preserving (or improving) your GPA and class rank. Right now, I’m taking college calculus, but my brain tells me I should opt out to take something easier. However, if I take the easier classes, how will that look on my college application?
It’s all very worrying—but deep down, I think I know the answer: The greatest advice I could give anyone facing a similar predicament is to do what feels right for you, work your hardest, and try not to worry. If you stay on top of the workload, it shouldn’t pile up. Some days will be more difficult than the others, but in the long run it will all pay off.
This period is just one of those trying times that can either break you or define you. The world will not end if you aren’t not surrounded by friends. Keep in mind, next year you most likely won’t be among friends either! College might feel a lot like this at its beginning. Think of this as practice for next year.
This is the time you’ve always imagined. Make it yours, and don’t let senioritis get the best of you. Give yourself rewards after working for extended periods of time, forgive yourself when you make a mistake, and stay focused. Before you know it, senior year—and its senioritis—will be behind you.