“Senioritis” is a term commonly used in high school, and has been heard through Bellwood-Antis more frequently the past few weeks. Oxford Languages defines Senioritis as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”
Every year you can see this lack of motivation prevalent in the senior class. But now with COVID-19 this so-called senioritis is at an all-time high, and students are falling victim to this plague of senioritis well before spring 2021.
High school principal Mr. Richard Schreier says, “The 2020-21 school year has been challenging for all students, teachers, and families. I am hopeful that the class of 2021 has a strong finish at BAHS, and that their finish will propel them into the next chapter of their lives.”
Miss Carrie Clippard, who teaches science on multiple grade levels, does not only see signs of senioritis amongst the senior class but a decrease in motivation.
“By marking period four, students can be burned out, or have desire to slack off a bit, because after all, they have put in three marking periods of work already.” said Miss Clippard.
Many students are putting in minimal effort to their work and have an “I-just-want-to-graduate” mentality. With many seniors already committed to colleges it becomes easier to decrease their efforts and not face consequences.
“I was accepted into my college of choice in the summer, which only made my senioritis stronger. I definitely notice a lack of motivation in my work this year compared to past years.” said senior Gabriella Finn.
Teachers of senior classes are no stranger to senior students losing focus as the year develops. But this year this lack of effort is at an all time high. Seniors not only have to worry about the “senioritis” outbreak, but the even more detrimental, COVID-19. With classic senior year activities stripped from seniors (Friday Night Lights, concerts, musicals,) it becomes difficult for seniors to fully enjoy the year and creates a lack of purpose.
Is it possible for teachers to win the battle against senioritis, or is the only cure graduation?
Ms. Clippard feels it takes a school-wide community effort.
“Bellwood as a community could help counter senioritis by reinforcing the idea that marking period four learning is when the most important, applicable, fun learning can happen. We spend all year building a foundation in our classes and marking period four is the grand finale!” said Miss Clippard.
Miss Clippard makes an excellent point. It is important for seniors, and other classes alike, to not give up and understand the importance of putting in hard work towards their studies no matter the time of year. At the same time, it is also important for teachers and administrators to understand the mindset that goes with “senioritis” is inevitable, and healthy motivation towards students is important as they finish the school year.