When senioritis strikes
April 25th, 2012
06:40 AM ET

When senioritis strikes

by Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) Second semester, senior year of high school:  Senioritis hits like the flu.  Students’ hard work either has or hasn’t paid off by this point; many have been accepted into universities, and some have secured scholarship money to help pay for higher education.  Others are eyeing trade schools, planning to enter the full-time workforce…and concentrating on anything but schoolwork.

The symptoms are lack of motivation, disinterest in classes, withdrawal from extracurricular activities, and general apathy regarding anything but the people they’re dating.  According to a student at New Jersey’s Madison High School, the causes and conditions don’t have favorites.  “Let me assure you,” the writer says, “true senioritis applies only to those two-hundred-plus members of the Class of 2012 who have entered into the home stretch.”

There’s some comfort in knowing that others are going through it, too.  But the fact that they are is part of the problem, according to an eHow article on fending off senioritis.  Having someone to motivate an affected student – a friend, a teacher, a sibling – can help keep the student focused on school when he’s distracted with everything but.

The article also goes on to suggest planning coursework in advance, avoiding procrastination (a tall order for most), and saving the slacking for the weekend – all helpful tips in powering through the last part of senior year.

But senioritis symptoms can strike students at any grade level during the waning months of the academic calendar.  The Houstonian, a campus paper for Sam Houston State University, suggests that college students should do everything they can to stay organized and take advantage of campus resources while they still have them. Spend time in the library, enlist the help of a tutor, actually pay attention in class.  Why not?  You’re paying for it.

Spring fever creates particular challenges for teachers, who are looking forward to the summer break themselves and have to contend with (even deeper) distractions among students.  U.S. News & World Report suggests that teachers take classes outdoors during warmer weather to motivate students and save the most interesting parts of the curriculum for later in the school year.

Is it dangerous?  Not as much as other conditions ending in “itis.”  It won’t send you to the hospital, but it can reduce both your attendance and your grades.  So fighting it is always a good idea, even though, as Madison High School’s Dodger Online points out, there’s no cure for senioritis – except summer.

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Filed under: Behavior • College • High school • Practice
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. fred doe

    Come on kids get with it. Do what your teachers, parents, the government( both the left and the right) corporate america,your elders and the internet tells you to do. If you feel sluggish, apathetic, or passive aggressive then do some push ups, join a club, get involved, take a cold shower, pray, get eight hours of sleep, eat your vegetables, stop eating candy ect ect ect......... do it for God and country. Get into step (even if it is lock step) remember just say no to drugs and deep kissing and heavy petting. The future is yours. You and you alone will inherit the new world order. Remember think clean thoughts kids.

    May 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  2. Steven

    Listen to your elders, they know about life.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  3. Steven

    The senioritis people better get their act together now because it only gets worse, look at me 50 years old and on disability for the rest of my life, should of listen to my parents!

    April 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  4. East of Eden

    I had Senioritis since Kindergarten and it lasted until I got the BA haha. Seriously, I feel bad for Elementary school kids, thinking back–we used to get blasted with work. It's all good, the fundamentals you learn then last a lifetime.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  5. jshah

    The worst is when it carries into the first semester of college... that's what happened to me. Bad idea

    April 26, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  6. KellyinCA

    There's really not much, apart from trying to keep things interesting in the classroom, to prevent or treat senioritis. I remember spending my last term in high school wandering like a ghost from class to class, one foot in high school, the other in the university I'd be attending that fall. Even if the student's not going anywhere but to work after the school year ends, the slip will occur. It's really a slow psychological unplugging from that state of "schoolkid"; after all the cap-and-gown stuff and the play at formal dressing, adulthood and reality fully hit the psyche and we become cast members in a Kevin Smith film.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:18 am |

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    April 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  8. Hunter S T

    It is quite unfortunate that high school seniors pick up their aderall addictions late in their college-freshman year... if only we could get these kids hooked on methamphetamines early in the 12th grade, we could actually have our high school graduates be taken seriously internationally.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Matt

      Adderall isn't methamphetamine, it's amphetamine. The difference is significant and not given the respect it deserves with your hyperbole.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  9. Todd

    Senioritis strikes over and over again.
    I got it in High School. Then when graduating from my Under Grad then when I graduated from Grad School. It is trough to be motivated when you are so close to your goal, that you can calculate the last steps you need.
    2 more Tests to go, If I get 0's in each test I will still pass, chances are Ill get 50% of them. so I will pass with a good enough grade. It is tough, to sit down and actually try to keep that final GPA up, just because you may need it later.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  10. Asha

    This is the dumbest article ever haha

    April 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  11. joeyjags

    many years ago I was a top 5%, 1300 SAT student who was accepted to a good private college with a nice scholarship by November of my senior year and thus coasted....however, I a) worked to save some money for college, 2) partied/socialized, 3) took Fridays off to enjoy nature and read (and occasionally bet the ponies)...so all good and I turned out fine.

    April 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  12. Tom

    This blog is kind of pointless. No solutions are offered. No cause is really looked into other than to state it. Senioritis is big problem, but it is not the teacher's to solve. We simply must continue to hold the line of high expectations to the end of the year, and the seniors who are really together will push thru their senioritis and get the work done. It is a valuable lesson for someone about to enter the work force.

    April 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  13. yeti37

    The suggestions here from non-teachers don't realize that the spring standardized tests (state tests and AP tests) often determine whether a teacher's contract is extended. So students slacking off impacts not just their grades, but the evaluation of the teacher. After 20 years of teaching, I can tell you that the students coming back after spring break are not the same ones who were in my room earlier. I become more of an entertainer in the spring and less of a teacher. It's sad, but it's a reality. Students haven't changed over the years (the "illness" hit me too as a senior) so I don't blame the kids, but the stakes and consequences on the teacher side are higher than ever before.

    April 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  14. Martin

    Install shock collars – that should fix things.

    April 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  15. Joe

    It has been called the Senior Slide for as long as I can remember. The seniors have put in their time have plans for future and think they can kick back and relax. Luckily my son has always worked hard and has not given in to the slide.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  16. Teacher

    I have a few seniors who have fallen to the "disease", and my cure for them is to call them, call their parents, or find them on campus. When they come to class I thank them for coming, make the class worthwhile to attend, and for those that struggle to stay on task, I place a sticky note on their desk that reads, "graduation?" They hate the question mark, and always get back on task. Its all about making it worthwhile and applicable to them, and to their lives.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  17. Brian

    No matter what teachers or school districts do, kids still aren't going to care. They'll care enought to not fail for the last semester, but other then that they'll crack out C's.
    There really is nothing the districts can do.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  18. Imastarchick

    OH NO! How dangerous! After working their butts off for 12 years and before having to commit to at least another 4 years of hard work and a lifetime of responsibility young people take a few months rest from the rush. Whats wrong with these kids? Get them to work harder! They are not good Americans if they are not more productive 110% of the time!

    April 25, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Senoritis Victim


      April 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Mrs.Mani

      Thank you! I couldn't have said it better!!

      April 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Leila

    " U.S. News & World Report suggests that teachers take classes outdoors during warmer weather to motivate students and save the most interesting parts of the curriculum for later in the school year."

    This actually WORKS! It is what I am currently doing with my high school students. What a difference it makes!

    April 25, 2012 at 10:33 am |