Writer’s Note: I will start off by saying that this is an opinion piece written by a very opinionated person, so if anything in this article doesn’t jazz with readers, you’ve been warned. If there are any teachers reading this article, I strongly suggest reading this article with an open mind as I believe that there are many misunderstandings about this topic, and I’m hoping to bring to light an unpopular opinion with the goal of both informing and changing the controversy behind this topic.
Senioritis: “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” – Oxford Dictionaries
Senioritis is often viewed in a very negative light because of the way it is defined — as “a decline in motivation or performance.” However, what the definition fails to account for is just why seniors are affected by this condition.
Senioritis is a condition that only seniors suffer from; no freshmen, sophomores or juniors are found with this condition under the same name. Instead, when something similar in symptoms is found it is known as laziness. So why is it that we give it a different name when it is happening with seniors?
This is due to the negative stigma associated with senioritis. However, what many seem to forget is the reason behind senioritis. Do teachers think that seniors just stop caring after a while? I’m sure there are a bunch of seniors who generally don’t care about work, but to assume that all are like this because of a few is wrong.
As a senior in the class of 2020, I find that I am affected by the senioritis phenomenon. However, my senioritis does not stem from a lack of motivation or a sense of laziness. For me, high school has been a never-ending battle against grades, teachers I didn’t like and ex-friends I’m glad I’ve forgotten. As a result, knowing that this is the so-called end of an era is something I want to celebrate by taking the final break I will have until I finally retire.
That isn’t the only reason for my seemingly unmotivated mentality in class. Since I no longer have to spend all of my waking hours focusing on school, I have, instead, decided to spend more of my time focusing on other aspects of my life. I joined a school musical, decided to focus on my journalism career outside of school and have spent the last few months trying to get closer to my family.
Yet when teachers look at me — tired and not exactly the most motivated — they just assume that I am lazy, suffer from senioritis and have decided to not care about school anymore. It’s completely untrue, and it is kind of sad to see that teachers view me in such a way.
School was such a priority to me so I could make sure that I would be able to go to a college that I enjoy. Now, having gotten into many universities that I truly enjoy, I do not see the point to stress myself out to the level I did when I was a freshman, which probably didn’t do wonders for my mental health at the time either.
So yes, I have put aside my academic goals to focus on things that will bring real joy to my life. Grades certainly never did that, so, instead, family, musicals and my career have become my priorities.
I’m sure I’m not the only one at Beckman High School who is like this, and I think it’s time that more teachers start promoting senioritis for students who are like me. If our teachers and faculty tried to understand our true motivations and why we act the way we do instead of giving us a blanket label, it’s quite possible that students would become more productive. In fact, the idea of senioritis may eventually fade into the forgotten memory banks where we keep Algebra and Zachary Taylor.
I end this with a message to all of my fellow students: keep procrastinating. While this may seem like a weird message, I find that it encourages us to focus on things outside of school and place our motivations on things that mean more to us.