A “crippling disease,” Senioritis is taking over the school


Senioritis is the commonly used term to describe the feeling that many High School Seniors have. In many high schools it is beginning to become more widespread, especially with the second semester right around the corner.

While many joke about the phenomenon, it can have negative consequences and effect habits students will take with them to college.

The Urban Dictionary definition of senioritis is “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.”

In what has become a common and accepted theme, seniors are usually not as motivated in the classroom during their final portion of their high school career. It can get out of hand quickly and effect options a student may have like admission into a certain college.

Many students even believe that it can bring down the rest of the high school community.

“Senioritis is when seniors start getting lazy and stop trying because they are graduating soon,” Nicole Vadney, a senior, said. “It affects the Shen High School community by rubbing off underclassmen who should not be getting it because they aren’t even graduating this year.”

Miriam Krupski, a senior said, “It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a senior but you have been in school for so long that you run out of steam to keep going.”

According to a survey conducted by the Steinhardt School at New York University, 69.7 percent of seniors either strongly agree or agree that their academic effort will most likely decline during the second semester of their senior year.

Brian Harding, a senior, said, “When you know you can slack off and get away with it, you do it.”

Underclassmen have noticed this trend as well.

Nico Tebbano, a sophomore, said, “I’ve noticed that it’s more common in kids that don’t play sports.”

Senioritis usually begins to take shape right around this time of year, as students have finished applying to colleges and eagerly await to hear back. It can hit hardest after being accepted into college.

Jack Nelson, a senior who recently commited to Siena College, said, “Now that I know where I’m going, my grades aren’t as important now.”

Nelson explained that there’s a period of relaxation after the euphoric feeling of getting into college.

One negative consequence is that colleges can rescind any potential scholarships or revoke your acceptance if your grades slip too much.

Harding acknowledges that if your grades slip too much and colleges revoke admissions and scholarships, then it can be a problem.

“If colleges pull scholarships, then it becomes a problem. But as long as you pass senior year with decent enough grades, it really isn’t a big issue.”

Krupski said, “As long as your grades stay up you’re okay but once they start slipping is when you need to start coming back to reality.”

A Washington Post article says that senioritis is an inevitable phenomenon and you can only taint it to a certain degree. The article also mentions that there are ways to combat the trend.

Some examples would be that parents of seniors could give their kids work around home in order to keep them from getting in trouble.  They believe that skipping classes leads to a higher risk of not wanting to go to college to obtain a degree.

There are several ways to combat senioritis. Tebbano suggested that the best way to counteract this is to join a sport or club.

College Countdown, a program that helps students in applying to college, stresses that grades still matter, even as you begin the downhill portion of your high school career. They mentioned to stop bad habits before they start and try to have fun in the process.

With graduation right around the corner for seniors, it is easy to follow the trend set by classmates and peers. However, there are still classes to pass and finals to take.

It is important for students to enjoy the time they have left and have fun as they focus on post-grad plans and head into their last few months as a senior in High School.


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