Rise in Senioritis: Class of 2021



High school senior is wearing a mask, along with her cap and gown.

Senioritis is the common disease that high school seniors feel as we approach graduation. Average onset is after turning in college applications. Although it is not contagious, it is very common and affects approximately 98% of the senior population.

Symptoms would include: laziness, tardiness, missing assignments, lack of motivation, etc. After submitting college applications, seniors are more prone to contract senioritis, due to the laid-back structure of senior year; teachers are more lenient, there’s less pressure to complete work, and many seniors have already committed to a college.

There is a new strain of senioritis that has been affecting the class of 2021. This strain has the same symptoms, but a slightly different cause. The current seniors have had almost their entire senior year online, which led to a decrease in motivation earlier on in the year.

Also, the typical treatment for senioritis, the fun senior events, has been cancelled. Recently, prom on wheels was cancelled for CNUSD seniors, which was one of the few senior events offered.

Graduation is a very memorable moment for all high school seniors. COVID-19 plagues the class of 2021 just as it did the Class of 2020.

To investigate the widespread effects of senioritis, we surveyed 20 high school seniors to hear their thoughts on senioritis. Of the 20, 19 said that they have been experiencing senioritis at least a little bit.

One current high school senior, Nikki Sincero, shared her thoughts on senioritis. She said that “I’ve always been a student on top of her things, finishing assignments early or on time, asking questions, engaging with classmates and teachers. It was like that motivation just suddenly disappeared.”

She continued that “Simply logging into a Zoom meeting felt like a chore. Being alone in my room, watching a screen, with a huge list of past due assignments, seeing other peers seemingly continue to thrive in an online platform, made me just want to vanish. It came to the point that it was difficult for me to even work on college and scholarship applications.”

Sincero is definitely not alone in this, as even top students are struggling to complete assignments simply due to lack of motivation caused by senioritis. However, we tend to feel like we are the only ones going through it, leading to self-deprecating thoughts and comparing ourselves to others. By being transparent with struggles we are going through, we can all come to a realization that everyone is having a hard time in their own way and be less harsh on ourselves.

Sincero noted the very important statement that “To the freshman, sophomores, and juniors, if it gets to that point in your senior year and you start having a difficult time, remember you are NOT alone. I felt like I was alone at first, but after talking with friends, or even seeing people rant on TikTok and Twitter, I realized that I was on the same boat as thousands of other people. Senioritis does NOT indicate ANYTHING about who you are as a student, nor as a person. Experiencing hardships is a part of life, but those hardships do not define who you are, nor lessen your true value. Senioritis is temporary. Soon, and very soon, you’ll be able to look back with a sigh of relief that you got through that.”

Another senior, Chantal Le, also noted that she feels that her “motivation to complete school work is depleting” and she is feeling too “overwhelmed as [she] approach[es] a new milestone in [her] life and feel[s] too worried about college, jobs, living situations, etc. to be completely focused in school.”

As for tips on overcoming senioritis, Le stated “I try my best to have a good balance of self-care and work. I understand that I can’t completely abandon my school responsibilities but I also understand that I can’t just overload myself with work. I tend to focus on current tasks and work on future aspects gradually for a long period of time (instead of leaving it last minute).”

The silhouette of three high school seniors in their cap and gowns. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

This is good advice, as there is no way you can perform well on assignments if you are not taking care of yourself. Remember to prioritize your mental health, and to just do the best you can right now, even if that is not as good as your usual 100%. Keep working hard, as the year is almost over! Senioritis may be difficult to overcome, but you can definitely push through it, and you are in no way alone in your struggles.