Senioritis: A Final Reward, or Mere Excuse?

The Verdict is In: Seniors, Get to Work
After winter break, more and more seniors seem to suddenly be conveniently “sick” on days that involve little schoolwork. If one chooses to investigate further, one can often see these seniors enjoying a coffee at Starbucks, or grabbing an early lunch … for medical reasons, of course.

They insist that their sickness is real, however, calling it the rather juvenile name of “senioritis.” To them it’s more of a threat than other conditions such as chocaholism, the jitters and Spontaneous Dental Hydroplosion.

But what seniors don’t know is that side effects of senioritis include remedial courses over the summer, a disintegrating education of key college material and a mindset that they can quickly digress into a struggling college career.

While it may seem like seniors need a break after completing three-and-a-half years in high school, the sin of laziness often entices seniors into seniors slacking off in their final semester of school, which can have serious results.

“As much as I want to relax, I know that colleges really do consider your second semester grades as well,” senior Erin Winner said.

More importantly though, seniors’ final semester in high school leads directly up to college. Doing well on the AP exams for classes such as social studies or English is important, as the AP test is the culmination of an entire year’s worth of effort. Slacking off for a month can easily destroy a whole year’s worth of effort.

Slacking off for an entire semester can lull students into thinking that college will be the same.

College is arguably the period in life in which students have to work the hardest, and when they get there, completely on their own and with less guidance from teachers, will they suddenly start working hard again? With all the sudden upheavals in their life, they’ll most likely fall back on the habits they’ve relied on the last six months, which can mean low grades and sleepless nights trying to catch up if they slacked off too much during their senior year.

Students who have not yet completed all their required credits to graduate from high school also face the possibility of not graduating at all, which means that they will have to spend most of their summer at school doing summer school.

Being stuck in school over summer is probably the worst thing that could happen to you, “ said chemistry teacher Carl Babb, who has had to teach summer school in the past. “Not only are the students extremely unmotivated but they have to relearn most of the class.”

While seniors should find more time to relax with their friends during their second semester, they should not abandon their studies when they are so close to the end of high school, but should consider it the finishing lap of a very long marathon as they jump into the real world.

Gimme a Break: It’s Our Time to Relax
It is 11:45 p.m. on March 3. I don’t have a draft done, and my editor is going to kill me if I don’t get this done by tomorrow when the paper comes out. But putting this off to the last minute was definitely worth it.

Think about all the other things I got done between the date he gave this assignment and tonight. I got two new swimsuits, watched four episodes of “House” and three episodes of “CSI” and managed to count every piece of hardwood flooring in my room. Doing all that instead of writing this is so much more fun, and besides, we’re seniors. Don’t we deserve it?

It has been three-and-a-half long years now, trudging through vocabulary words, Spanish projects, math formulas and English essays. After a career like that, you would think the school would give you an award just for surviving.

They don’t. They just give you the same amount, if not work work to do, even though applying for college and sending in those stellar grades is over.

So if they won’t, we will give ourselves a reward, one that is worth more than any gift card or trophy: the right to slack off. The right to think about how much homework we have and then go out (on a Monday night).

It’s not like it’s anything permanent that we are going to stick with forever. We all know (or at least most of us do) that once high school is over college starts, it’ll be right back on the working hard bandwagon and we’ll have to look back on these days of slacking off fondly and cherish how happy we were.

Some teachers who are reading this article right now might be thinking that any leniency would result in us seniors ignoring school, ditching classes, plagiarizing assignments and collapsing into total anarchy. But after four years in high school, we may not remember what the Defenestration of Prague was, but we have at least learned a little bit about responsibility.

Senioritis, while it cannot be medically defined, mean that all we want is a break. We don’t want to disrespect you teachers, make you angry, or cause unnaturally early growth of gray hairs. We don’t consider your time worthless, as long as you don’t consider ours to be.

Seniors request that you be sympathetic and understanding to our position. Forcing us to work through the pain and suffering of second semester senior year is not quite cruel and unusual punishment (as defined by the Constitution), but it can hardly be seen as a reward for years of work.

So seniors, don’t be ashamed of your affliction. Embrace it, love it, cherish it, feed it, because when this year is all over, and looming college textbooks come to your future, you’ll be thankful you had these few months of life in which you could count the pieces of hardware in your room.