The Misdiagnosis of Senioritis


Jacqui Glago, Writer

There is an epidemic that plagues the halls of high schools across the country; one that haunts teachers in their deepest nightmares, more contagious than the chicken pox. Second semester has arrived and with it, the infamous SENIORITIS.

Yes, you read correctly… this ailment can be easily detected, yet is nearly impossible to combat. Symptoms include fatigue and lethargy, as well as chronic disengagement in class. The epicenter of the malady has been detected and is commonly referred to as the Senior Lounge. Seniors are increasingly absent from school as a result of Senioritis, yet no doctor will sign an excuse note.

The cause of this disease has been extensively debated by experts. Are all seniors, year after year, collectively not curious or interested in learning? Is Senioritis a result of exhaustion from 4 years of chaos and stress? Or could it be disillusion with learning as a result of outdated teaching techniques and busy-work that does not promote intellectual curiosity?

A group of Seniors unanimously concurred on the cause of Senioritis, being a combination of exhaustion from the past 4 years, and disillusion due to outdated teaching techniques.

Senior, Angelica Cuprill, had plenty to say on the topic. “Every student has a different learning technique, and if you expect us to learn all the same way, we will probably start to zone out in class. I would love to learn in different classes, but I feel unmotivated if the sole teaching being done is reading off of a power point,” she states. She goes further, saying that she does not believe that “a good teacher is defined by the amount of grades they have in the grade book. I think that a good teacher is one that makes a class interactive without bombarding us with busy work to fill time.”

Ada Cuevas, also a senior, had thoughts with regards to the what many consider “busy work.” “Teachers should not give busy work just to keep us ‘productive,’ because we start to resent learning in general, associating education with an excessive workload.”

Many teachers, however, have mastered the art of maintaining an interactive learning environment in which students are engaged, one of these being Ms. Lopez. Ms. Lopez is not a novice in combating Senioritis; she has worked with seniors for 8 years and counting. After all of this experience, she has come to the conclusion that there is not one specific cause for Senioritis. Senioritis stems from “a variety of factors. It’s not just the four years, for many it’s the 12 years.” She continues,“This is why you have to have a certain mindset when working with seniors, without playing the role of the victims as teachers. You need to realize that these are the students you have and you need to plan accordingly.”

Ms. Lopez advises other teachers “not to penalize or chastise (students) because they are taking college visits. Your job is to say: What do (seniors) need from me before they springboard out of here into the real world? What can I give to them? If (teachers) don’t change and evolve in order to meet the needs of today’s students, they will decay and dinosaur out. Education is changing and I need to continue to learn from you guys and change because I am not ready to stop learning.”

This insight and expertise has helped experts get one step closer to understanding the malady that is Senioritis, yet there is so much left to uncover. Will we ever truly be able to know the root cause of Senioritis? Is there any possible cure? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.