Senior Contagion Strikes!

Senior year is coming to a close, and with it, the culmination of college preparatory education. This climactic finale of a somewhat meaningless time in one’s life, compared to University and subsequent Graduate school, only leads to one thing: senioritis.

Although not recognized by the mainstream medical community, Urban Dictionary defines senioritis as:“noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation.”

Its presence does not arrive like a common cold or the flu. One has to cross a specific threshold—the comfort of knowing where one will be attending university in the next year or two is often the beginning of senioritis. But for other people, the mere fact that they are no longer an underclassman is enough motivation to slack off and succumb to the cliché of senior year.

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Senioritis can be broken down into three stages. These stages are applicable to all seniors, whether they be past, present, or future.

Stage one: Denial

Stage two: Realization and or acceptance

Stage three: An attempt, but failing, to cure oneself

Generally speaking, generalizations are a bad idea; but when discussing a disease so pervasive and encompassing as senioritis, sacrifices must be made.

Take, for example, an early decision applicant who has just been admitted to his or her top school choice. Shortly after contracting the disease, the patient will be seen in increasingly casual attire. Suspicion grows as his apathy towards everything except “I’m Shmacked” videos grows at an exponential rate. Despite the warnings of fellow classmates, he has already caught the disease; he just does not know it- he is in DENIAL. He will try to convince you it is just a “phase”, one that will soon pass after he finish’s binge-watching the last season of whatever Netflix show he has affixed to.

However, this “phase” quickly turns into reality, starting at the beginning of second semester. The sabbatical, known as winter break, only deters one from coming to this realization. At its end, one is graced with the imminent arrival of MIDTERMS. The student’s recent indifference towards studying and focus, contrary to popular belief, does not lead to a catastrophic blunder. By some strange miracle, his due diligence up to this point will be enough to keep him barely up to par. The individual will be ecstatic about receiving their results, but in retrospect, he will finally deduce that the cause of this laziness is that dreadful disease, known as senioritis.

Once the senior has come to this conclusion, he will tell himself that he has, “finally made it”. Ironically, these newfound habits shall not be immunized, but celebrated.

He has now entered the black hole. His apathy and indifference will lead to absences, weight gain, and a quite unpleasant odor. After falling deep into a now characteristic sloth and indolence, a guardian angel will appear. Eventually, he will be approached by an authority figure, most likely a teacher. Despite the earnest nature of the teacher, it will do no good. In this interaction, he will be neither defensive nor remorseful, but like a Sunday school truant, simply unengaged. His behavior continues.

We are all complacent beings, but eventually we try to change things up. The senior will attempt to shed himself from this problem. He will act and look the part, as he once did; this will last for a week, maybe two. But after an enjoyable weekend and a hangover filled Sunday, he will find himself being sucked back into the black hole.

One’s relationship with senioritis is not a push and pull; like a riptide, it pulls deeper and deeper into the abyss.

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AIS is no different from any other high school- the prevalence of this disease is as concerning as it is anywhere.

Teacher and students alike are aware of this plight, yet we stand idly by as senioritis claims more and more from the once-strong ranks of the class of 2014. A survey was sent to every senior in the grade in order to more effectively combat the effects of senioritis. In a grade made up of sixty-six students only five responded, a true indicator of how far these young men and women have already fallen. Contrary to popular belief, the seniors that did reply noted that there is nothing desirable about this plague.

Future Duke Blue Devil, Enrique Sanz Balboa, states, “senioritis is not desirable since you want to work but you just can’t.”

Sunny Yoon, another senior, in response to a Facebook questionnaire said that the residual effects of senioritis could lead to “ poor grades, lack of motivation and confusion in the purpose of life.” Now, who would want that?

Sadly senioritis’ is incurable. According to senior Sammy Khalifa, “the only cure is probably motivation of which there is very little in senior year.” In essence, if one can just find that hidden motivation within them, they will be immune from this disease. But why should they? The only way it can be neutralized is with the phenomenon known simply as “Graduation”, which cannot be sped up nor slowed to accommodate these teens teetering on the brink of disaster.

In the Greek story The Myth of Sisyphus, a man is condemned to ceaselessly push a rock up a hill. In the brief moment when he reaches the top, he deserves a moment of apathy, a chance to relax and celebrate his feat. But he will have to eventually compose himself, and continue to endure his reality. This story is the quintessential illustration of the humdrum of life- enduring the arduous and enjoying the moments that need to be enjoyed. A senior has endured the many years of college preparatory education; starting with elementary school and ending with high school. Hence, there should be a moment when one can enjoy this feat. This enjoyment is seen in the cliché known as senioritis.

One also has to keep in mind, that a senior is preparing to embark on an even greater journey- the odyssey of discovering themselves in University- which will be a greatest challenge of their young lives. Yes, in life there needs to be a balance, and there are a great number of seniors who overindulge in the joyous celebration, but quantifying the “right” amount of senioritis is ephemeral. By and by, seniors should enjoy this time of their lives, if that means succumbing to senioritis, so be it, but in the back of there minds they should realize that this year is as much as a preparation as it is a celebration.

#SenioritisBeDamned

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