Q: Hi Abby. So it’s my last semester of high school, and I’m pretty sure that I’m starting to develop senioritis. I’m so ready to graduate that I can’t seem to concentrate on schoolwork, and I never have the motivation to finish anyth
Signed, [think of a clever pseudonym later]
A: Well hello there, [clever pseudonym]! Seeing as you couldn’t even be bothered to ask me a question that I am by no means qualified to answer, I think it’d be a fair assessment to say that you’ve got at least some of the most common symptoms of senioritis. There’s no need to panic about this fact, however. Senioritis is kind of like herpes: most people have it, a lot of them are completely unaware of their status, and the severity of the condition can vary considerably depending on what strain has infected you. For this reason, I’ve decided to break down the different levels of this pre-graduation disease into three stages. The course of action you should take (assuming you want to do anything at all) depends on just where you fall on this motivationless continuum.
*A note to seniors: seeing as most of you probably aren’t going to want to read this whole thing, I’ll be bolding the most important words of this article for your skimming convenience.*
For those of you underclassmen who are still reading, allow me to briefly clarify what senioritis is and isn’t. Some juniors and even sophomores, my past self included, seem to be convinced that they already possess an early-onset form of the condition. I promise you, you don’t. Everybody loses motivation and finds it difficult to truly care about trivial high-school things from time to time, but true senioritis is a much more chronic and deeply-rooted phenomenon than these fleeting feelings of disinterest. It’s a hard distinction to convey to those who have yet to experience senioritis for themselves, but once it sets in, I guarantee you’ll understand.
Generally speaking, the first symptoms of senioritis begin appearing in January, once the first semester of the year has come to a close and the majority of regular-decision college applications have been submitted. The cold weather allows these students to easily slip into the habit of dressing exclusively in sweatpants, hoodies, and flannel pajama pants, a trend that many of them will continue for the rest of the year. I’ve been told by numerous IHS alums that midterms week is widely regarded to be the unofficial last semester of high school for seniors, and for me that’s certainly been the case. If you find yourself wearing the same pair of pants for weeks at a time, skim any reading longer than five pages, or have begun using your free periods as power naps, you’re probably stuck in the first stage of senioritis.
Secondary and tertiary waves of senioritis emerge throughout March and April, as college-bound students receive their acceptances. With the future and the “real world” now within reach, it becomes even harder for these students to feign interest in the bubble they’re so quickly outgrowing. A student who was once mortified of not turning in work on time may now shrug off even the most doable of homework assignments. Coffee runs during free periods often turn into afternoon-long excursions during this stage.
The most potent form of senioritis tends to rear its head in early May, once the weather begins cooperating and AP students are done with finals. If you see a senior on campus who isn’t lounging in the quad, napping in H Courtyard, or on their way to pick up take-out, run—they’ve either become delusional in their post-testing haze or are plotting something that is definitely not “any form of a prank.”
If you’ve already decided that just reading the Sparknotes summary of last night’s reading is too much work or if waking up five minutes after your alarm leads you to decide to take the day off, then congratulations, you’ve made it to the lowest point on the senioritis spectrum. There’s no real cure so you’re just gonna have to roll with it (not like you would have done anything if you could have).
To conclude, I’m already over my one-page limit and my deadline is 15 minutes away so instead of going back and editing down I’m just going to stop mid sente
Don’t be like me. Except let’s be real, you already are.