The differing opinions on Senioritis causes challenges for all

Pacelli graduates throw their caps in the air after commencement Wednesday night at St. Edwards Catholic Church. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Pacelli graduates throw their caps in the air after commencement Wednesday night at St. Edwards Catholic Church. Eric Johnson/[email protected]

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.”

As described by the ever great and wise Urban Dictionary, the condition of Senioritis has made a name for itself. The term has gained so much popularity that there are countless pages on the Internet consisting of symptoms, advice, polls, and more. At the turn of the semester, Senioritis has become more common around the halls of FHC. People either embrace it or avoid it. However, this is a more complex issue than meets the eye. Teachers, students, and parents everywhere have their two cents to share.

Even if you don’t think so, it seems that Senioritis has its grip on everyone. Even Senior Class President Ellie Matelic admits to suffering from Senioritis.

“Senioritis is a real disease,” Ellie said jokingly. “It’s happening everywhere.”

Alongside Ellie, senior Hannah Kuhlmann is an admitted sufferer of Senioritis. However differing from Ellie, Hannah has always expected to lose some motivation during her senior year.

“Well, see my way of thinking about it is, I’ve always had senioritis,” Hannah said.

“I would say, there are going to be times in life where you’re not going to get A’s. It’s okay; you’re going to be fine in the long run even if you don’t end up going to a prestigious college you want to go to. You’re going to end up a successful person if you put work in and you believe in yourself. You don’t need all A’s and a 4.0 to be a good person. Everyone is different.”

— Ellie Matelic

In a way, Hannah differs from the normal case of Senioritis because she currently has 4 hours of AP classes, and next semester she will be taking 5 hours of AP classes. Hannah does this to challenge herself. She believes that by taking difficult classes in school, she benefits more than taking easier classes. Hannah also thinks that no matter what classes she chose her senior year, she would choose to do the minimal work to get a good grade.

“I have zero regrets about [the classes I chose,]” Hannah said. “At the beginning of the year, I was kind of upset… I saw all my other friends hanging out with other people, and they can do a lot more than I can, and they’re having fun during school. But after college decisions started coming out, I felt better about my decision. I’d say [it was] well worth it.”

Related to college decisions, many students often stress themselves out over grades. However, good grades aren’t everything. In order to appear like a well-rounded person, colleges look for extracurriculars students are involved in before admitting them. Senioritis can help students get free time after school to explore their passions through clubs and sports. This also helps students appear impressive on college applications.

“You can get really good grades and take a lot of AP classes and then not do any extracurricular things outside of school and just be completely screwed when you go to apply to college because then you look like a robot instead of an actual person,” Hannah said.

Ellie sees her Senioritis as a way to seize all the opportunities that the school has presented her with.

“You need a little bit of the full spectrum,” Ellie said. “It’s about what makes you different. So make the memories, do the extra stuff you can do to have fun and make friends, especially senior year. I’ve been trying to talk to more people that I don’t normally talk to, hang out with people, break some rules.”

However, Senioritis can be harmful to future college students, for their study habits will need to change. College requires more work out of students and can be incredibly stressful.

“[Senioritis] will probably hurt me,” Hannah said. “I’ve had this mentality probably for the past four years. But I’ve always known that I’m going to need to change my ways before college, so why start now– why not start in college?”

Another way Senioritis harms education is through teachers who have to work extra hard to motivate students. Teacher Brian Pierce realizes that it is on both the seniors and teachers to stay motivated throughout the year.

“As long as you keep students motivated, you keep them interested in what it is that you’re talking about, and you build a good relationship with them, sometimes, the students will want to do [well] out of respect,” Pierce said.

He also believes that Senioritis is not as massive of an issue as students make it out to be. He does believe, however, that some students end up dropping the ball academically around their second-semester senior year.

“Assuming that Senioritis is an actual thing, of course, what you generally see is any time that students have to do an extra step of thinking, that usually stops,” Pierce said. “So they’ll start the problems and kind of attempt, but then once it gets past [a certain] step, they usually just [quit].”

Although he sees a change in students throughout their senior year, he does not believe it is Senioritis. He believes that throughout high school, students grow and mature into their own person; changes in their habits and life are a natural thing with age. No matter what, Pierce thinks all students possess the capability to do well their senior year.

“Most people’s Senioritis- or whatever you call it- drops them a little bit,” Pierce said. “But most people aren’t done doing everything. So they’re still successful, but they might not be as successful.”

No matter what Senioritis means to you, there is a lesson to be learned from it: grades aren’t everything. Senioritis may affect some students’ GPAs, but at the end of the day, it may just be a part of the senior experience. There may be no solution, cure, or reason as to why people are affected, but either way, it’s not the end of the world.

“I would say, there are going to be times in life where you’re not going to get A’s,” Ellie said. “It’s okay. You’re going to be fine in the long run even if you don’t end up going to a prestigious college you want to go to. You’re going to end up [being] successful if you put work in and you believe in yourself. You don’t need all A’s and a 4.0 to be a good person. Everyone is different.”