Seahawks struggle with senioritis

Seniors no longer motivated after submitting college applications

Seahawks struggle with senioritis

Grace Erard


After sending out college applications, seniors are plagued with a syndrome known as ‘senioritis’ that inspires laziness and makes their motivation vanish.

The root cause of senioritis is the fact that applicants receive admissions decisions from post-secondary institutions long before they get their final grades for senior year.

“Senioritis is a senior belief that they don’t have to try hard since they are in college,” senior Paul Fertitta said.

International Baccalaureate (IB) math teacher Antony Sharp finds fault in the early release of admissions decisions.

“I find the whole concept of centers of higher education confirming acceptance before the end of the second quarter, counter to sound pedagogical logic,” Sharp said. “It is tantamount to saying ‘You are in. You don’t need to work anymore.’”

Some seniors have been battling symptoms of senioritis, such as a lack of desire to work, longer than others.

“I’ve been in my top colleges since August, so I’ve had senioritis before the first day of senior year,” senior Kirsten Cornwell said.

Experts believe that seniors must resist the desire to slack off because there can be significant consequences to their college admission statuses.

“Both I and counselors have seen admissions revoked because of grade changes,” career center specialist Karen Burke said. “Any student whose grades drop significantly runs the risk of getting their acceptance revoked.”

The knowledge that colleges review final grades motivates senior Zack McIntyre to keep his grades strong.

“When I submitted my final college application, I felt done,” McIntyre said. “But at the same time, I know I have to still work hard to keep my grades up.”

Senioritis is attributed to a drop in test scores as well in grades.

IB students do not take their IB exams until after the May 1 deadline for committing to colleges. Some seniors do not feel the IB exams hold much importance, and this attitude does not go unnoticed by IB teachers.

“In general, I think most seniors do care about IB exams,” IB business and management teacher Susan Brownsword said. “They’ve done a lot of work over two years and their IB grade is the result of all that effort. However, with that said, there are seniors who definitely adopt the attitude that they are already in college and exam results do not matter.”

IB exam results are significant not only to students, but also to teachers.

“I am not always sure that students understand the IB grade results are not just an indication of how well they’ve done on a test, but how well a teacher has taught them the material,” Brownsword said. “Heading into May, I have full faith and confidence in my students and their ability to do well on these rigorous exams. However, when I see disappointing results I am left to wonder: ‘have I done my job poorly or was this a case of a bad year of senioritis?’”

Teachers do not know how cure senioritis.

“I have no idea how to change this culture,” Sharp said. “If I did, I would discharge that change with swift ubiquity.”

While there is no known way to stop senioritis, some sufferers offer advice on how to cope with the wave of apathy.

“You just have to snap out of it and remember that school still matters,” senior Alyssa van Schilfgaarde said.