In Defense of Senioritis

Simon Braun, Opinion Writer

Senoritis. Having swept through nations across the globe and promising to do so every year, this viral infection destroys the lives of teachers and students alike. At least, that’s what the school system wants you to believe. In reality, senioritis is the trove at the end of the tunnel. Senioritis is the reward that waits at the end of school, and a time when school is only done for enjoyment, while also revealing the broken nature of the education system itself.

Senoritis comes from many different factors, but the most important cause is the end of high school. A huge majority of students burn themselves out over the long and arduous journey, and senoritis is the natural reaction. As college applications become more competitive in the coming years, it may be possible to witness either an increase or decrease in senioritis, as students feel they need to perform for colleges right up until the last moment or are too burnt out to continue. Senior Will Bull agrees with this.

“I think it’s well deserved after the stress of college. It’s something that should be encouraged and supported all in all by the teachers, as there’s no real reason why grades should be kept up after the time that colleges have accepted the student,” Bull said.

The thing is, senioritis is a critique of the school system itself. In a study performed by three universities, Missouri State, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Northwest Missouri State University, college students were asked why senioritis occurs. The answer was clear.

“Senior students’ issues with courses include perceptions that the material will not help them in the future, will not be relevant to their intended career, will not be interesting or intellectually challenging, and will fail to engage them in class,” author Adena Young Jones said.

While it may seem strange that students view material as unhelpful for their futures, it makes sense. Seniors feel like they are learning to get into college, and once they are in, their journey in high school is over, and the rest of the material is worthless. It is undeniable that senoritis shows what happens when grades are not needed. Students give up and don’t care. I ask whether that’s a criticism of a lot of students, who “fail” to learn on their own, or whether it shows that a system of finals and grades don’t give people the ability to work on their own. Perhaps we are not educating students at all, just training them.

School is an unhealthy race that inevitably ends in senioritis. The existence of the plague is a reminder as to just how unhealthy school can be, especially as students drag themselves to the brink for college applications.