These days, we often see seniors pulling into the parking lot after the first bell rings, leaving school early, or catching up on sleep in class. Those who once prided themselves on their perfect attendance and pristine transcripts watch as their grades turn to alphabet soup and find themselves taking “sick days” long after flu season ends. Senioritis is a silent killer that begins setting in at the beginning of the school year and only festers from there. Senioritis isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s the consummation of years of schooling, all nighters, and exams. You may think you’re immune, but senioritis slowly finds a way to seep into your life, and no amount of Vitamin C can save you.
A mathematical representation of the long term effects of senioritis.
Graphic by Olivia Rich
The first symptoms of senioritis appear in little things, like a calendar countdown to graduation on your phone, starting a Pinterest board of ideas for your future dorm room, or stocking up on spirit wear for the college of your choice. Fast forward a couple months and you’re still hanging in there, your days may be starting to blur together and your grades might be slipping a tad, but you think you can pull yourself together, and then first semester ends. Second semester begins, and you can no longer tell the difference between the books that you actually read and the ones you just looked up on LitCharts. Lately, no amount of sleep ever feels like enough and you find yourself googling the maximum amount of days you can miss while still qualifying to graduate. "Mr. Nollner thinks I'm dead because I'm never there" said senior Leslie Cruz. At this point, you’ve already been accepted into college and it seems like the rest of your life is right around the corner, all you have to do is hang on, but it soon becomes apparent that hanging on is much easier said than done. “I pretty much failed to do any school work for all of second semester, I had zero motivation” said Lakeside Alumni Nidhi Gangavarapu.
Cartoon by Mia Patterson
These symptoms are just a few of the aftereffects of the massive amount of stress senior students are under during their first semester. With application season and the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty that comes along with it, it’s no wonder seniors start to check out second semester. “First semester consisted of me being super stressed and focused on getting good scores on my SAT/ACT and getting accepted into colleges, and now during second semester I’m way more carefree and calm because I already know where I’m going to attend school this upcoming fall,”said senior Ravyn Hardwick. Indubitably, college acceptance is a tremendous relief, but don’t get too comfy. According to Money Magazine, colleges actually rescind 1-2% of their acceptances each year due to grade declines, and disciplinary actions. So while most people are inclined to simply laugh off senioritis, it’s important that seniors keep their grades and attendance up, and stay out of trouble during their final stretch to freedom.