Senioritis: The Silent Killer

Anna Miller, Writer

Every year, without fail, the graduating classes of seniors across the country are swept with the deadly “senioritis” disease. Senioritis, much like the deadly rabies disease, once a patient is infected, symptoms of senioritis are dormant until it’s too late. 

When senior students start their year the excitement and anticipation of finally being free from grade school is widespread and buzzing. However the excitement can lead to dramatic drops in motivation. Falling grades and skipping school are common symptoms of the sickness. From an outside perspective, the giddy and carefree demeanor of seniors can easily make it seem as though they are gliding through their senior year with ease. Underneath a surface level facade, a lot of seniors are secretly struggling. 

Senioritis is very similar to the concept of burnout when students are exhausted by the long-term demands of school environments and become unmotivated, frustrated, and suffer mental, physical, and emotional pressure. A lot of students experiencing senioritis know that the end of their academic career is near and lose that sense of urgency, and suddenly find themselves swamped with work. 

The validity of the condition is hotly debated among all people involved in a student’s academic life. Teachers, parents, and even students themselves question whether or not senioritis is real, or just an excuse to be lazy. Senioritis cannot be formally diagnosed by a medical professional, but it doesn’t undermine the serious consequences brought about by it. Underlying conditions that CAN be diagnosed can be direct causes or amplifiers of senioritis, like depression and anxiety. Those conditions could also develop because of senoritis as well. Regardless, seniors can lose their hard-earned GPA, not qualify for graduation, or even repeat the year– which is cause for serious concern. 

So, how can senioritis be treated? How can it be avoided? Prevented? Senioritis has to do with a student’s motivation, and is the key to a cure. Students are advised to keep a positive attitude and not give into temptation to slack off. Keeping your end goals in mind and reminding yourself of them will help to prevent lack of motivation. Senioritis come in many forms, and if its source isn’t a lack of motivation and rather more serious, like depression and anxiety, one should talk to someone they trust like a parent or counselor. Working with them can help solve the problem at its roots by providing resources to make you feel better. One important resource often forget is their teachers. When senioritis begins to affect a student they often forget that a teacher is there to help them succeed. Teachers are usually a lot more understanding than students think, and are willing to work with you to find a way to keep motivation high. Senior year is an exciting time for kids, but the excitement can drag them down and lose their motivation. Keeping senior year as stress free as you can is important, because it should be fun. Students should be reminded that they have resources to help them succeed and have fun, without falling behind.