Senioritis: Burning Up or Burning Out?

Rachel Weiner, Contributing Writer

As a current senior, it is safe to say that I have officially hit the phase of “Senioritis”. I go to school stressed about everything else around me that I have to do for college or theatre, and I have a hard time getting the motivation to do any of my classwork. This is an issue that all seniors encounter at one point or another, and the question is, why? Do we get lazy after consistently working for 4 years? Is it because we just stopped caring? Multiple sources say there is much more than just “obtaining laziness” and that teenage seniors are hit hard when it comes to finishing high school.

The last semester is always the hardest to accomplish when it comes to the work aspect. Not because the work is difficult, but because we are all gearing up for our future. We start to focus so much on the future, and completely disregard the now. Our fall semester was full of college applications and college interviews, now’s the time we are committing and deciding where we want to go and planning out the next step of our lives.

Stated in the article “Is Senioritis Real or Just an Excuse to Be Lazy? Maybe it’s Both” Senioritis “…is generally characterized by symptoms such as apathy, low motivation, and a tendency to shrug off responsibilities like going to class, doing homework, or studying for tests. But senioritis is not a recognized medical condition or mental health disorder. In fact, some people think that senioritis is just a convenient, made-up excuse for laziness.” Many adults and teachers believe that the word “Senioristis” is an excuse for seniors to not do work. I completely disagree. After working hard for almost four full years in high school, falling behind on current work isn’t due to laziness, it’s due to the fact that seniors have become mentally exhausted.

I completely understand teachers’ anger when they see students start to fall down the path of failing to accomplish their work towards the end of their senior year, but have we stopped to think about encouraging them to continue to work hard under the right and safe circumstances that won’t affect their mental health as much or just continue to add more stress onto their plates? In the article “What is Senioritis? Need- To- Know Causes and Cures” written by University of The People, they claim- “There are cures that adults can take in to help students overcome this bump in the road: Encourage them to never give up, listen to their struggles and work through them, and most importantly, remember how much they have been given to deal with during this time” Instead of continually claiming senioritis as an issue, we need to search for solutions.

After talking to many of my classmates about their personal experiences with senioritis, I quickly realized we were all feeling similar emotions. One more unusual case is my peer, Riley Letendre mentioned that her senioritis felt more like “It’s hopeless, we don’t have time” rather than “It’s the end, I don’t care”. This is explaining how she feels she is given more than she can currently handle and a lot of things are being added onto the list of things she already has to accomplish. A different, more normal example would be from my peer Hannah Jahn. Hannah explained she feels “burnt out” and “overwhelmed” with the amount of pressure being put on her this time of the year, and how she feels drained after all the work she has put into high school the past four years. 

After discussions I had with other seniors not only from Marco Island Academy but other schools, I realized that the real reason for senioritis isn’t laziness, but our minds being ready to grow from the high school mindset of almost having every assignment given or every test handed out cause stress, to being ready for the growth of becoming an adult and having more independence through our college or after high school lifestyle to come.