Senioritis: Is it still relevant?


Sophie Kroeker, Staff Writer

Students work so hard for four years of high school, putting in countless hours studying, staying up until the crack of dawn finishing their assignments, showing up to class eager to learn. But is that really true? Do students actually do that for four years? According to a poll taken by 54 seniors at Lincoln Southeast, 74.1 percent find their motivation levels dropping each year of high school. The most common excuse for this lack of motivation from seniors is a blanket term, “senioritis.” Senioritis is the decline in motivation as students reach their final year of high school according to Merriam-Webster. Many students from various Lincoln schools believe that senioritis is an actual condition, but most adults think it is a lousy excuse for not wanting to put in motivation to their schoolwork. 

Southeast senior Alana James rates her motivation for senior year, on a scale of one to 10 (one being the least amount of motivation; 10 being super motivated), a “three.”

“My motivation [levels] just keep getting lower and lower as I get further into senior year,” James said. 

In order to muster up the motivation she needs to end senior year as best as she can, James has received support from her teachers, as well as her parents. 

The lack of motivation in high school seniors can most likely be attributed to the proximity of the next step they will be taking. By the time second semester rolls around, most seniors already know which college or university they will be attending in the coming fall. In fact, many seniors feel that they don’t need to work as hard, because they’ve already been accepted to their college, so their futures are already set in stone. Freshmen can feel a burn-out as well, but with seniors, it is a cumulative experience that has built up over the years.

However, it all comes back to the main question that has so many people riled up: Is senioritis an actual condition? Or is it just an excuse to be lazy? According to an article by Aaron Krasnow, the Associate Vice President of Health and Counseling Services at Arizona State University, senioritis is not a diagnosable condition, which makes it a made-up term. 

“It is a collection of feelings and behaviors that tend to make people feel less motivated when describing themselves near a finish line — feeling a decrease in energy and attention with sometimes anxiety and fear towards the future,” Krasnow said.

Krasnow blames the creation of this term on society not allowing people to admit that they are depressed or anxious about where they are and their rapidly approaching future. According to Krasnow, it makes sense to use this term when students feel this anxiety, because it is easier to admit it’s senioritis than what is actually going on within a student’s mind.

According to many students, such as James, it is a common belief that senioritis is in fact real. 

“It’s real, because after a certain point, everyone is ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. And we know we’re about to graduate, so we kind of just give up or don’t try as hard, because it doesn’t feel like there’s a reason,” James said. 

Southeast senior Ashley Hebb believes that senioritis is a legitimate issue in Lincoln’s high schools as well. 

“I definitely believe it is real, only because some people get to the point of realizing that this is their last year of [high] school before you go off to college, and the first semester can feel extremely quick until you get to the second semester. It takes forever and you just want to be done,” Hebb said. 

However, due to COVID-19, many students are reflecting on their senior year and wishing that all would return to normal.  

“This year, it was obviously a unique case for us all. Senioritis hit a bunch of people, and then school got cancelled. So it’s an unfortunate feeling to think we all took school for granted, but I do believe senioritis is real,” Hebb said. 

Southeast senior Drew West agrees with Hebb, explaining that although senioritis is a real concept, it’s one that seems rather insignificant in light of the coronavirus. 

“It sucks not being able to come to school for our last quarter ever and not having senior prom, but I’ve been trying to just look at the positives and have gratitude — remembering that we at least get to go to school in the first place,” West said. “So many kids don’t have the privilege of a free education that we do, and we are very blessed to have LPS, as well as getting to use Chromebooks to do our work at home so we are able to continue to learn.”

Remote learning is here to stay until the end of the 2019-2020 school year for Southeast students, and the adjustment has taken a toll on many students. However, there are a few unexpected positive aspects that have come from this unprecedented change. 

“I miss the classroom environment, [but] I also like the freedom to be able to do my classwork on my own time, so I’m making the most of the situation we’re being put in. I think the teachers are dealing with this the best they can. They had the rest of their school year taken from the virus just like we did,” West said. 

Many teachers, at Southeast and beyond, have gone the extra mile to provide a virtual education for students who they no longer see every day. 

“They are trying to work from home and keep us all learning. It’s hard to get out of routine in such a huge way for us, I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for them,” West said.  

As it’s been discovered during this time, some teachers are tasked with reaching students whose parents speak different languages, who lack the resources for a proper technological education or younger students with parents who work everyday. 

“I know an elementary school teacher at a lower-income elementary school with kids that speak multiple languages and with home lives much different than their lives at school. She was working hard to catch them up to the level they are supposed to be at in the classroom, but with all of this COVID stuff, she cannot see them anymore. How are they supposed to get the most out of their education if they aren’t in school?” West said. 

As this unusual school year wraps up, students and teachers alike are mustering up the motivation to complete all remote learning assignments. While they’re battling the ongoing feelings of defeat due to their senior year being “taken” from them, many seniors are left to reflect on the short time they were given at Southeast, wondering if they would’ve savored their time in the classroom a bit more if they’d known this was going to happen.