There’s a New Sickness Going Around South Lakes, and it isn’t COVID – Editorial

Image via The Thots

Image via The Thots

I remember the first time I was introduced to the disease that is senioritis. I was sitting in my freshman World History I class. There were a few seniors in this class too, and I remember my teacher making remarks about how they had come down with the ever so famous “senioritis”. Senioritis was the reason they weren’t getting their work done. I thought she was joking. I had never heard such a word before, and I wondered how those who were infected with it felt. Fast forward three years and I’m no longer wondering, rather, experiencing the symptoms myself. 


This disease can’t be prevented by masks and social distancing. The only cure is known as “graduation”.. In just 84 days, the Class of 2022 will walk across the stage to officially end their four years of high school, and hopefully all lost motivation will be restored. 


Urban dictionary defines senioritis as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. It features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude”. To most teachers, staff members and parents, this definition may seem accurate. It may seem to them as though seniors are being lazy and irresponsible by missing class and accepting minimum grades on assignments, but senioritis runs deeper than what meets the eye. In her book “Crossing the Stage: Redefining Senior Year”, author Nancy Sizer defines senioritis as “an emotional state: a complex combination of vulnerability, nostalgia, restlessness, weariness, disappointment – and laziness and entitlement.” This is a definition I can get behind. Senioritis has a lot more depth to it than just the average slacking off. 


I would describe senior year as the gap between childhood and adulthood. We’re still kids in a sense that we go to school and live at home, but on the other hand, most of us are 18. We’re legally adults, but we’re in a “child like” situation. It feels as if our entire academic lives have lived up to this year. We worked tirelessly to ensure college acceptances, and now that they are coming, we’re presented with the question “why should I continue to work hard?” The year has been an emotional experience full of “lasts”. Last homecomings, last big games, last musicals, etc, and all of these have contributed to feelings of reflection, and sometimes sadness. 


I think I can vouch for most seniors when I say that the majority of us have experienced some sort of flare up of senioritis over the past year. I’ve always been a studious person, and loved school. I didn’t always receive straight A’s, but my work ethic and dedication to my studies has carried me through my high school career. In previous years, my note taking was impeccable, and I spent quality time studying for quizzes and tests. Now, in my second semester of senior year, I can unfortunately say that the note taking, studying version of me is gone. I’ve developed somewhat of a cliche “you only live once” mentality, and in doing so, I prioritize time doing meaningful things, and spending time with friends and family, instead of spending time heavily focused on my school work, and things that won’t matter in a couple of months.  In other words, if I had the chance to go out with friends the night before a big test, I would probably ditch studying for a night out, and not feel guilty about it. 


Activities that were once major parts of my life have also taken a back seat as senior year continues to progress. My enthusiasm towards them has declined, and I think it’s a result of my priorities changing, which isn’t always a bad thing. I have begun looking at school, and to be honest everyday life differently as a second semester senior. I value the relationships I have with others, the conversations, the memories, the school activities, and the connections I’ve made over the past four years more than anything else externally going on. This is a sign of growth and maturity. Freshman year me would be shocked that math class isn’t the number one stressor in my life. Sophomore year me would be sad that I don’t play softball anymore. Junior year me would be shocked that before college I am taking a gap year and studying abroad, but senior year me is proud of the person I’ve become over the past four years, and can’t wait for the future. 


Seniors, there is a world outside that’s calling our names, and our futures are going to be brighter than we could have ever imagined. School might seem draining at the moment, but in just a few months, our time at South Lakes will be a distant memory. Let’s make the most of our time here while we can, and find ways to cope with our senioritis. Doctors orders!