Senioritis: fact or fiction


Katie Spillman

Playing on their phones instead of doing homework, seniors Terrell Jones and Jonathan Dixon relax in the senior lounge. The senior lounge was given to seniors as an alternative to the study hall rooms, but Dixon used it as a place to watch Netflix. “The moment I stepped into West High this year I knew I wanted to get out as soon as possible,” Dixon said.

92 percent of students who responded to a survey sent out to all seniors said that they already felt that they were experiencing senioritis.

“I literally don’t have the motivation to do any of my school work. That book I need to read 60 pages of by tomorrow? It can wait. That Bio test I should be studying for? Irrelevant,” senior Gabi Thompson said. “Of course I still make time for important things like Netflix. Just kidding, but honestly, senioritis is real and no one can tell me otherwise.”

Other students find themselves using senioritis as an excuse to avoid doing things for classes or coming to school on time.

I like to talk about how senioritis is hitting hard and how I’m not doing the work that I should be, but it’s just talk. I’m still doing all of my work, potentially more so than in years past. I think seniors in high rigor classes just use senioritis to complain more rather than actually dropping their work,” senior Hannah Hoffman said.

It is a topic that has been debated about between professionals, parents, teachers and students. When asked about senioritis, some teachers were skeptical of its existence.

“Oh, it’s definitely a personal choice. I have more seniors that are motivated and stay engaged and on top of their work,” Personal Finance teacher Jaclyn Deelo said.

Other teachers sympathize with the students and agree that senioritis negatively influences students. However, in spite of academic apathy, faculty like Biology teacher Sally Soulier believe seniors’ choices still matter.

It’s the culmination of a big life event and moving on to adulthood that causes it, so it’s more about future and anticipation than laziness.”

— Patrick Mooney

“Losing discipline at the end of high school can have very serious consequences. I’ve known kids to lose their scholarships, and I have heard of letters of recommendation being rescinded,” Soulier said.

Senior principal Kate Piffel empathizes with her students, but believes it is imperative that they focus on their futures and listen to their parents.

“We were all seniors once—I get it. But you have to figure out how to stay focused and finish strong to keep your grades up for scholarships, college acceptance, etc,” Piffel said. “Listening to your parents is important to stay motivated. You all think your parents are crazy and know nothing. But in another few years, you will realize they had your backs and best interests in mind, and they will become your best friends.”

Although seniors have plenty of resources and role models around them, most surveyed seniors said that they still cannot motivate themselves.

“I literally procrastinate everything. I have so many college apps due in less than two weeks, and I have yet to finish my CommonApp. Meanwhile, my grades are plummeting—it’s fine though,” senior Tazeen Malik said.

Math teacher Patrick Mooney empathizes with students and remembers going through senioritis himself.

“It’s the culmination of a big life event and moving on to adulthood that causes it, so it’s more about future and anticipation than laziness,” Mooney said.