Graduating seniors suffer from common ailment: senioritis

by Abbie Crane

As the end of the year quickly approaches, many seniors suffer from a common problem: senioritis.

Senior Caroline Capper said senioritis is the overwhelming desire to be doing things unrelated to work and progress. She said it’s a real problem, but people have a difficult time diagnosing it because it can be called many other things.

“It has other names like procrastination, summer fever or just plain laziness,” Capper said. “It functions as an excuse for everyone to delay projects, homework or fulfilling life’s little duties.”

There are other students who share Capper’s opinion that senioritis is simply laziness. Seniors Ashley McGraw and Kelsey Christianson described senioritis as having no motivation. All agree it can attack anyone at any age.

“It doesn’t just apply to seniors,” McGraw said. “It can happen to just about anyone who has lost interest or become too overwhelmed – trying to fit in homework, class, tests, projects, work, social life and other campus activities,” McGraw said.

The three seniors don’t believe it’s a large problem on campus. However, the three agree everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, whether it’s as a senior or underclassman.

McGraw said it could happen to anyone because senioritis is just losing interest in what you’ve been doing.

“For those that aren’t seniors, days can be just as hectic and so losing interest can happen to underclassmen as well,” McGraw said. “We still just use the term senioritis.”

Jeff Parmelee, associate professor of biology, has a class of mostly seniors and he said he sees senioritis all the time.

“I would define [senioritis] as fluctuating between malaise and hyperactivity, almost always accompanied by difficulty in concentrating on studies and even occasional missed class periods,” Parmelee said.

Many students experienced senioritis as a high school senior, but these college seniors said it’s much worse in college.

Capper said it’s more stressful in college because there is much more to look forward to when graduating high school.

“After college you have to start over in what is called the ‘real world,’ you can’t just sleep in and skip class if you’re hung over,” Capper said.

Christianson said the transition from high school to college isn’t as difficult as the transition from college to the rest of your life.

“The next phase is frightening,” Christianson said. “I think seniors realize there isn’t much time left to be lazy so we overcompensate for it now.”

McGraw said at some point seniors have to deal with the issue of senioritis. She battles it with willpower.

“There comes a time when you just have to suck it up and do the homework or study like you should,” McGraw said. “Staying ahead is the biggest way to fight senioritis.”

Capper fights her senioritis by going with the flow and letting it happen.

“I fight senioritis by thinking about how short of time I have left at college, not caring and partaking in a few beverages,” Capper said.

Christianson has a plan similar to Capper’s. She doesn’t let it get to her because she wants to enjoy the rest of her time in college.

She said she buckles down and does her homework eventually, usually at the last minute, though.

“I realized that some employers don’t want to hire 4.0 students because it probably meant they were unsocial,” Christianson said. “It’s important to make the most of your final days as a student.”

To battle senioritis, Parmelee said he lets students know his expectations ahead of time and keeps reminding them.

“As a teacher, I do my best with my seniors to remind them that I expect them in class and contributing up to that last week of their senior year,” Parmelee said.