Senioritis: Is there a cure?
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
By Vikrant Sabharwal
A term far too well known among seniors, senioritis. It comes in different forms and affects seniors in different ways, but is something almost all seniors can relate to.
Serionitis is defined as a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. While it may not be a real diagnosis or disease yet, its effects are certainly very consequential.
Senioritis primarily takes place during the second semester of senior year. The main reason it occurs is that most seniors already know the college they will be attending in the next year and as a result do not have an external motivation to continue pursuing high grades. The fatigue from working hard for three and a half years also sets in, worsening this effect.
Symptoms of senioritis include procrastination, drop in grades, late or incomplete assignments, skipping or appearing late to classes, or an overall loss of interest in academics and commitment to a student’s classes.
In the context of BISB, senioritis is especially difficult to deal with for Year 13 students. This is due to the nature of the IB program. With IB exams taking place in May, students must maintain their academic focus for most of the spring, which is made harder by the fact that their peer seniors from neighboring American schools are able to disengage from their academics earlier on. However, that said, this year’s BISB seniors effectively resisted severe senioritis and successfully completed their exams to end the year on a strong note.
There are ways that students can avoid senioritis. Joining fun clubs can help keep seniors engaged with the school, which can help carry over focus to their studies. Pursuing work and volunteer opportunities outside of school can also help keep students more focused.
Other strategies include students reducing their use of technology. Significant use of technology can harm one’s ability to cope with senioritis by opening up numerous distractions. Having digital downtime can allow students to understand how technology affects their thought process and attention span, further refining their academic focus.
Upset teachers and parents are looking for more ways to mitigate the senioritis issue, including potential changes to what students are taught in the second half of senior year.
More radical suggestions even include allowing students to skip their senior year of high school. This suggestion entails that students can have the option to skip senior year in order to work or volunteer to contribute to their communities. Proponents of this believe it will also better prepare seniors for adulthood. (Learn more about this suggestion in this New York Times opinion article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/opinion/sunday/sunday-dialogue-a-cure-for-senioritis.html).
Overall senioritis is not something that can just be solved by a couple strategies. It is incredibly entrenched among students year after year. If schools and parents want to address senioritis, they must acknowledge its reality and find new approaches to deal with it that also entice the students.