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Saving Yourself From A Senior Slump

As spring break comes and goes and the weather starts warming up, we all become more restless for the end of the year. We stop paying as much attention in classes, want to go outside for class, and stop caring as much about dress code. Many students get excited to leave for summer break but […]

As spring break comes and goes and the weather starts warming up, we all become more restless for the end of the year. We stop paying as much attention in classes, want to go outside for class, and stop caring as much about dress code. Many students get excited to leave for summer break but everyone has to come back next year. Everyone but the seniors.

“Once it starts to warm, March Madness starts to come on, and the sun starts to come out, that’s when people start to drift,” English teacher Mr. O.J. Solander states. “I also think it’s because more and more people start to solidify where they’re spending their futures.”

“Seniors start to realize ‘Man something really drastic has to happen for me to not graduate.'”

The seniors hear back from colleges between February and March and start solidifying their futures in April. After they figure out where they are going, they stop caring as much.

“Senioritis to my definition is the notion that seniors start to pull back from the amount of work that they do, and as a result, you start to see a slide in their grades. It’s honestly just fatigue that comes at the end of senior year,” Religious Studies instructor Mr. Chris Symkowick-Rose tells me.

Seniors stop putting an effort in because they feel as if they no longer have to. The juniors have to keep trying because this is the year colleges look mostly at, sophomores have another two years and are looking forward to being upperclassmen, and freshmen are just getting started in high school.

“Nobody is immune from saying ‘It’s May, do we have to?’ but the other three classes recognize that there is more at stake for them than the seniors,” Mr. Solander says.

“The seniors understand that they are really truly finished, but the other classes have just a break and have to come back,” English teacher Mrs. Annie Vanenburg adds.

I’ve looked around the hallways during passing periods and noticed underclassmen in sweats and leggings, especially sophomores. The seniors always get a modified dress code for the fourth quarter of the year, but the underclassmen have been especially reaping the benefits of it that the seniors have rightfully earned.

“We all get antsy and anxious at the end of the school year ,but Senioritis is a rite of passage. Seniors have put in their three and a half years and now they do get to have something in return,” Physical Education teacher Mr. Jacob Hunley told me. “It does bother me when a freshman or a sophomore who hasn’t earned that right yet is in free dress.”

Last year, Senioritis was campus wide. If you showed up on campus, no one was in dress code, no one paid super close attention in class, and everyone was ready for summer by November. If you were all online, you could sit in bed all day and sleep through classes. It was not real school.

“Senioritis has changed because we are so used to being home and messing around. Coming back to a structured environment where staff is telling students what to do, there has been some pushback,” Mrs. Vanenburg told me.

“Senioritis has been coming in earlier within the last couple of years because it has been so unusual. I have definitely had first semester senioritis since COVID hit,” Mr. Solander added.

Senioritis is inevitable at the end of the year, especially with how life has been the last few years. Some teachers embrace it and roll with it while some ignore it and continue to try and get seniors engaged who start drifting.

“I look at it like whatever students get out of a class is what they get out. The point of things are to get a sense of the world and figure stuff out rather than the academic aspects at the end,” Mr. Solander said. “There’s a reason why most English finals are not formal and just creative projects that allow the students to have a lot of freedom. Holding peoples’ feet to the fire for one more formal essay when it’s May will not put in anyone in a good position.”

Seniors, remember there is still a few weeks of the year and you can not give up completely just yet.

“If you’re running a race, you don’t walk the last lap. You have to give it everything you’ve got. I’ve seen seniors impressions of what they left not being the same as what they had maintained and built up because they stopped caring,” Mr. Symkowick-Rose said.

“It’s important for seniors to know that there are still rules and things teachers have to do and still expectations to hold up to,” Mr. Hunley adds.

A lot of people talk about first impressions, but there is not much said about last impressions. We work towards making our first impressions memorable but when we are done with something, we tend to not care about what people think of us at the end.

“Seniors have to be careful of burning bridges, not because they still need our recommendations or anything, but just be aware of the messages you’re sending when you say you’re done with this place because this place has been pretty good to you for the past four years,” Mr. Symkowick-Rose says to the seniors.

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