A Deeper Look Into Senioritis

Esha Singhai , Editor

Sen-ior-itis (n.)

  1. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. 
  2. Symptoms include: a lack of studying and repeated absences. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. 

Source: Urban Dictionary 


Every day, a new student is affected by the unforgiving reigns of Senioritis. Unable to study, do work or at the very least–care, they are overtaken by bouts of extreme exhaustion and lack of motivation. Senioritis lives in all corners of the school, attaching itself to seniors from the beginning of the year and slowly building until it peaks during the second semester. 

However, despite this being a very real problem, it is not taken seriously. Senioritis is viewed as a poor excuse for laziness–an issue that can be fixed with a simple step-by-step solution. In fact, the New York Times, NBC News and wikiHow have written articles on how to stay motivated during your senior year. While wikiHow takes a softer approach, telling students to keep daily checklists and “practice working hard to prepare for next year”, NBC News openly tells students that their Senioritis could cost them their college acceptance. While there is truth in the latter, these occurrences are incredibly rare. Scaring students into working is not the correct approach in mitigating the issue at hand, especially when it stems from a place much deeper than laziness. 

From my experience, Senioritis often occurs for the following reasons: 


1. The overhyping of college decisions. 

From the minute students step into high school, they are burdened with the idea that every choice, every grade, and every activity will impact their ability to get into a reputable college. For this reason, high school becomes an inescapable burden meant to outshine peers and become the “ideal” student, causing students from grades 9th-11th to work off purely extrinsic motivation. When these students get to the second-semester of senior year, they no longer have the extrinsic motivation of college weighing on their shoulders. This feeling culminates into a lack of care for school, which only snowballs as the year comes to an end. 

2. The lack of relevant coursework being taught. 

Despite having to transition from the isolated bubble of high school to the stresses of college, students are given little to no resources to assist them. We are expected to decide the course of our professional careers at 17, but are still given filler work to occupy our time at school. It is especially disheartening, considering a majority of the students are unaware of how to manage real-world situations. A notable example is that a vast percentage of students do not know how to do their taxes or manage their money efficiently. 

3. The overly-strict expectations being set. 

Senioritis is a concept that has existed long before this article. Teachers and parents have gone through it themselves, which is why it is especially important to create a better atmosphere for younger generations. Regardless, the workload only seems to increase after college applications are submitted. Late work policies get more strict and seniors are being asked to stay motivated because the finish line is “just so close”. Often, the lack of leniency in school further contributes to students’ lack of motivation. 


Though Senioritis is not the most critical issue affecting students, acknowledging the impacts it can have is incredibly important to ensure that seniors have a smooth transition to college.  Senioritis affects everyone, and with the immensely difficult experiences that this year’s graduating class has had to go through, it is tough to take the blame for these actions. But, we will get through this together! 


A student suffering from Senioritis