From the Editor: Senioritis

From+the+Editor%3A+Senioritis

By Sophia Pan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In the crowded halls of the Conestoga habitat, one can easily spot the disease known most commonly as “senioritis”: a case of the nefarious bug Miseria senior. This parasite targets 12th graders as its favored hosts, drilling into their brains and feeding on their motivation until the summer arrives.

Senioritis is an epidemic: unwelcome, perhaps, but not unexpected. With graduation looming just around the corner, the senior class is a pressure cooker of stress as students wait with bated breath for college application results and for postgraduation plans to be finalized. And in an environment of high achievement like Conestoga, fatigue spreads like plague. After more than three years of expending too much energy on keeping up and getting ahead, seniors are burnt out. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that Miseria senior so easily sinks its teeth into students, which is why its victims deserve no flack for falling prey to the malady. Watchful eyes should be kind and pitying instead, as the symptoms of senioritis can be quite severe.

Rampant, desperate procrastination is one side of the coin; a great surge of apathy is the other. Afflicted seniors often find themselves lacking the motivation to even crack open Schoology. Treasured hobbies and extracurriculars fall to the wayside as senioritis eats away at passion. The “I’ll do it eventually, probably, maybe, maybe not, eh” mindset becomes commonplace. And as susceptible seniors meet their motivational doom, the results are often all too clear: grades plummet, assignments remain incomplete and classes go unattended. 

At the end of the day, afflicted 12th graders find themselves exhausted, walking around like reanimated corpses. If the charcoal eye bags and slouching posture don’t tip off a host for senioritis, then the lack of coherent brain activity behind one’s eyes will.

So, what’s the cure?

The endless scrolling of social media provides some relief, allowing seniors to briefly escape the reaches of the parasite, but the solution never lasts long. Senior skip days can provide a much-needed breather, but missing the scheduled one day a month only delays the inevitable, impending doom of school. And bribe boards and promises from parents to buy that new game or subscription can only go so far.

Some of the most dastardly symptoms of senioritis can be alleviated, or at least temporarily buried, with some extra kindness and space. Flexible deadlines, open door testing policies and merciful extensions can help lift the crush of academic pressure that accompanies senior year. Mental health check-ins, time dedicated to relaxing, and spaces to feel supported and safe can help with the emotional cost of the bug. And most of all, simply allowing seniors to be human beings first, students second is invaluable.

However, one cannot expect senioritis to just up and disappear, even with the implementation of such support systems. Miseria senior is a temporal bug, meaning it demands the completion of its course. The core of senioritis is the timing: a mix of finality, the freedom of adulthood, a fear of the unknown and the closing of a chapter of adolescence.

Ultimately, though, the only real cure is graduation.

What afflicted seniors need is to let go of high school for good and to embrace the future. So, the prescription for senioritis is as follows: a handful of skip days, taken as needed; several doses of space and kindness along the way; and a cap, gown and Get Out of School Free card to be received onstage June 7.


Sophia can be reached at [email protected]