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‘Senioritis’ rampant among future grads

By Maddy Lewis

As the days fly by and the weeks blend together, the countdown to graduation continues for the class of 2015. After years of attending the same schools with the same people, and feeling trapped under an identical roof with parent rules and restrictions, many senior students begin to catch a severe case of Senioritis.

Tired of the unaltered routine for so many years and finally satisfied with the loads of work completed, seniors are ready for a change, ready for a new environment and most importantly, ready to become independent. Currently waiting for college acceptance letters, seniors have their minds set on the future, leaving little room for dedication to what seems like a pointless second semester.

Between the ages of 17 and 18, seniors are attempting to balance two different lifestyles: childhood and a self-supporting adulthood. They are stuck in the middle of securing the trust of parents for a few more months, while still finding time to venture out into the real world. With most seniors having memorized the nooks and crannies of the hallways and the location of the nearest bathroom, attending Alameda High School has become nothing but an uninteresting, yet mandatory, routine.

Senioritis is a topic that arises every year. Although some younger classmen claim to have been diagnosed with the syndrome, only seniors can truly experience this contagious condition.  Senioritis is defined as a problem that makes students extremely lazy and unable to focus clearly on schoolwork, usually becoming apparent at the end of the school year.

Michael Carlson, an Advanced Placement (AP) Biology teacher at AHS, has noticed an obvious drop off in his gradebook from the first semester. “This year is not as bad as in the past,” Carlson said, “but it’s also some of the colleges’ fault.” After colleges begin to accept applicants, students are informed to maintain a “C” average at a minimum, “instead of the grades that actually got them into college.”

Carlson explains that he understands Senioritis since he, too, was absorbed in the lackadaisical behavior as a graduating student. But as a teacher, he continues the rigorous schedule of an AP class and does not begin to lighten up on work until after the AP test is completed.

Sarah Beilman, a senior enrolled in two AP classes who claims to have Senioritis, approached her senior year with little motivation but has been able to maintain a high work ethic in order to keep up with heavy assignments.

Beilman recently noticed herself putting off homework to “value the time she has left with friends instead.” As college approaches, Beilman is excited about “living on [her] own and becoming more independent.” She feels prepared to make her own decisions, as she will be living solo in the next six months.

AP Government and Economics teacher Allison Goldberg said she observes “a little dip, not so much in concrete grades, but rather in in-class behavior.” Senior students seem to lose focus on tasks during school hours as a result of Senioritis.

Goldberg explains she recognizes the reason Senioritis exists, but does not consider it an excuse to slack off. She’s willing to keep the kids in line and “fight evil with evil” in order to assist her senior students in passing the AP exam in May.

While teaching material similar to that of a college lecture hall, Goldberg puts emphasis on the AP test–the most important part of committing to the class in the first place. “Seniors don’t seem to care about the AP test anymore,” Goldberg said, “it’s like they are only here for the grade bump.”

Some schools are beginning to not grant college credit as generously, which potentially contributes to the reason seniors are not studying as frequently.

Senioritis is actually an ironic condition. The learning objectives discussed in college are generally more intense, therefore one would think that slacking off at the end of high school would negatively affect students planning to do well at the next level.

Beilman explains she wants it all to be worth something in the end, referring to the stressful AP work. In attempt to ward off Senioritis, Beilman has listened to older friends. “It’s not going to be easy next year, especially considering the amount of studying required in college compared to high school,” she said.

Ariel Mak, a senior student who lacks the sluggish condition, mentions, “I like to think that I have Senioritis, but I could never let myself or my grades drop to a low level.”  However, Mak admitted to procrastinating more often this year and not completing work wholeheartedly.

“Homework is just a pattern now; I’ve been doing it for three years,” Mak said. For this reason, Mak has survived her senior year with just enough motivation left in the tank until graduation.

AHS Journalism
The Oak Leaf, a product of the journalism class, is a vehicle of student expression and a public forum for the Alameda High School community.