Senioritis (n.) — Feeling sluggish, lacking motivation, and prioritizing sleep above all else — just a few habits that some seniors have become accustomed to. The term for this may seem trivial or stereotypical, but it’s a very real thing that most seniors are struck with during their last year at high school. All the years of school begin to appear unimaginably long, and the road ahead seems to be cloaked with fog, hiding the true destination from seniors. The count down to the end begins on the second day of school, and every day after that motivation seems to slip away. That is the true problem behind the affliction– that and the fact that a lot of people refuse to believe it’s a legitimate thing.
When seniors say they have “senioritis”, most people take it as a joke or an excuse, but for some seniors at our school it’s a very real problem. The basis of the problem is that seniors are ‘babied’ more than the freshmen are, as though they may burst into flame at the thought of work. So most classes consist of notes and small worksheets, or even nothing at all. Most students would be elated at the thought of 90 minutes of phone time, but at this point in high school, seniors begin to question the point of coming when all that awaits them are blow off classes and maybe one useful class per day. For too many seniors the only thing standing between them and their diploma are pointless hours of sitting in a class room and staring at their phone screen or gossiping. Though it seems like a good problem to have, in most cases that’s far from the truth since students have taken to skipping classes and gaining seat time, which puts their chances of walking at graduation at risk.
One solution could lie in a change in the curriculum that could assist with the lack of motivation in both the seniors and their teachers — but it’s far too late for the class of 2016. It’s said that it takes only 21 days for someone to form a habit, and it’s long since passed that time frame; the habits have now been formed and cemented into our daily routines. Implementing this change would merely cause strife between the teachers and the students, so while it may be too late to take that route, it certainly doesn’t rule out next years’ seniors.
The best thing for teachers to do is at least attempt to promote interaction between the students and try to reign in the amount of free time that occurs at the end of class. Students may be a bit irritated at most, but seniors are sick of sitting through lessons that have no overall meaning. More planning needs to be put into classes, and that means more than just issuing worksheets — students want creativity and imagination from their teachers.
But the blame for senioritis does not rest only on the teachers. The students also play a key role in their levels of motivation. A teacher can give as many lessons and activities as they want, but it wont make a difference if the students don’t actively cooperate. In order to coerce any kind of improvement, the effort must be made by all those involved.
For 2016 seniors, the year is almost over and we’re down to the final few days of our high school experience, so don’t risk not walking at graduation by skipping classes that no longer seem necessary. If you find yourself bored in class, take the opportunity to talk about your plans after high school, take a few moments to enjoy one of your last conversations in a high school class room with classmates that you’ve known for years. Don’t write off this time as wasteful, use it to say make plans and say your goodbyes to the life as a high schooler – because after the year comes to an end, nothing will be the same again.