You email your teacher to tell them you won’t be in class because you’re feeling under the weather. Awww. We’re so sorry to hear that. We hope you start to feel better soon. Except… this isn’t the first time you have sent one of these emails. What is this awful illness that has had you so bedridden this semester?
It’s awful. It turns out you have come down with a very bad case of… SENIORITIS… Dun dun dun. What is this illness? Is it contagious? Will you die? Yes and yes. Nah I’m just messing. To know what Senioritis is, let’s go to every young persons favorite definition source, Urban Dictionary! According to the site, Senioritis is:
n. 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.
Before I get into the “legit” Senioritis conversation, check out this audio story. While the whole thing is a satire about high school Senioritis, there are some valid points in it about what happens while someone has Senioritis. Check it out.
The thing is, Senioritis is not only something people deal with in high school. It’s a huge deal in college as well, but I’ll talk more about that in a bit. Right now, I’m going to focus on the high school aspect. Denise Witmer of About.com, thinks she has figured out what the sources of high school Senioritis is. Parent’s, this part of the post is for you.
Boredom is thought to be a cause of Senioritis: High school seniors aren’t often challenged in the second half of the senior school year as their workload may dwindle for some of their classes and schools may fail to keep them engaged in learning. All they are focused on is going to college and getting away from mom and dad. The problem with this is that they don’t realize if they loose their grades, they can loose their spot at whatever college they are expecting to go to. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, “21 percent of colleges reported that they had revoked an admission offer” in 2009. This is because of things like drops in grades and other factors.
Parental apathy can be a cause of Senioritis: Often parents don’t mean to be apathetic, but after a few years of not having to discipline a teen for school work because they have been working independently and doing it well, parents are surprised to see that they need to get back on the discipline horse so close to the finish line. This can lead to an attitude in parents of: “Oh well, they can’t fail now.”
Burnout is another cause for Senioritis for some seniors: Senior high school students are busy people. They have a full course load and are charged with cementing their plans for their future. The busy life of tests, sports, friends, extra-curricular activities and part-time jobs is further crammed with college or technical school visits and applications, scholarship searches, senior projects and job or career searches. Without careful planning and attention paid to a teen’s stress levels, burnout is to be expected.
Fear of change can cause Senioritis: Graduating high school is a double-edged sword for many teens. They are looking forward to growing up and moving on but they will miss the familiarity of high school and their friends. Parents, don’t get offended if your teens start to act differently during these times. While it may seem like they “hate” you, they are just repelling their fears in a different way.
Parents will begin to notice the signs and symptoms of Senioritis about mid-year of their teen’s senior year, but they could show up sooner. Below is a list to help you identify the signs, things that happen because your teen is developing Senioritis, and symptoms, physical ways your teen is acting because of Senioritis. This list is from the International College Counselors website.
– Poor grades
– Incomplete assignments
– Does not make it home for curfew
– Cut classes
– Increased absences from school
– Concern from teachers and school administrators
– Using alcohol or drugs
Use these signs and symptoms to help you prevent your teen from catching a debilitating form of Senioritis or to help your teen who is suffering from a bout of high school Senioritis. While you may think that Senioritis is just a stage your teen is going through, much like the ones you went through or that ‘everyone’ goes through, “be warned that the consequences of Senioritis can last a long time and be devastating for a teen and their family” (About.com).
Now what about college seniors? While it seems like they have less to loose, it actually depends on what major you’re graduating with. Every senior gets Senioritis. I don’t care what a person says. They have it. Whether it hits them as bad is the question. If you’re a business major, yes your grades are a huge factor in getting a job after school is over. If you’re a broadcasting major like me, grades don’t really matter. I went around and asked people around campus what people in their particular work force were looking for and this is what I found.
Employers in fields such as business, math, and education find grades very important. But employers in fields such as broadcast, print, acting, and other “artsy” things, feel that your ability is more important. I talked to a producer at the ABC affiliate in San Diego, who said, “no news director hiring is going to care what your grades are. As long as you are good at what you do, that’s what we want to see”. Senioritis in college is all relative to your studies. It’s no wonder I have it. I don’t care about my work just because I know none of my future employers are going to want to see my transcript. But another major’s will.
Below you will see a photo slideshow I put together. It depicts what happens when a college senior doesn’t work hard and gets Senioritis. Then fights it and graduates. Check it out.
Essentially, Senioritis is all in the mind. Is it real, absolutely. You just need to work hard to make sure it doesn’t completely ruin your life.