If graduation is on your horizon, congratulations! You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. But don’t make the common mistake of slacking off on your schoolwork just because it’s your final semester. Senioritis might not be an actual disease, but it affects more students than you might realize. Don’t be a victim!
A condition that strikes high school students during their final semesters and annoys teachers and parents, senioritis can strike suddenly. Essentially a combination of boredom, anxiety, and anticipation for the future, you might be suffering from it yourself if any of the following are accurate:
1. You’ve been playing Farmville and SongPop for the last hour and a half, even though you sat at your computer to write a term paper.
2. You conveniently “get sick” the Thursday morning before or the Tuesday morning after all three-day-weekends. Strangely, you miraculously recover as soon as your mom notifies the school secretary that you’ll be absent that day.
3. You’re starting to tag along with that friend who has no qualms about heading to Starbucks instead of math class.(Yes, you, you former good student! Frappuccinos are much better than statistics!)
4. Walking around the mall is much more appealing than staying at school, even though you don’t have any money to spend.
5. You’re a straight-A student but suddenly decide that Bs are just as good and even the occasional C is no cause for worry.
6. Library? What library?
7. You’ll write that book report that’s due tomorrow afternoon during homeroom. Or maybe during lunch…
8. You fall asleep during school because you stayed up til 4 AM texting and Skyping with your friends.
9. You wear nothing but T-shirts from your new college because it helps remind those underclassmen how much older and cooler you are.
10. Forget graduation! All you can think about is Move-In Day and Rush Week.
It’s easy to go with the flow and accept senioritis as normal and even acceptable, but your counselors and teachers are warning you for a reason. Even though you were already accepted by your future college, the school will receive a copy of your final high school transcripts.
Significantly lower grades or transferring from Calculus and Physics to Home Ec and Square Dancing might raise a red flag with the admissions counselors. Colleges and universities can revoke your offer of admission.
A death in the family or other traumatic circumstances can understandably cause grades students’ grades to slip, but one admissions professional told the Los Angeles Times that colleges are becoming stricter than they were in the past when it appears a student simply decided that 12th grade was the perfect time to have nonstop fun.
Another potential pitfall? If you’re enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, you could potentially lose out on college credit. If you flounder come exam time because you skipped so many classes and missed major assignments, you won’t score high enough to earn AP credit.
It’s understandable that you’re excited about college. You’ve been working hard for the last four years—the last twelve years, in fact! Allow yourself to have fun, and don’t beat yourself up over a less-than-perfect grade, but remember that your senioritis can have real-world consequences.
Although technically there isn’t anything wrong with it, taking community college classes alongside retirees and career changers probably won’t be as appealing as going away to the state university as you had planned.
Be sure to participate in school activities, too—sports games, concerts, even school-sponsored parties. Sure, you can’t wait to get out of there now, but you’ll miss these things and these people more than you realize.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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