By Julian Aguilar
As the notorious second semester unfolds at Alameda High, the casualties of students in their senior year begin to rise at the hands of a destructive temporal disease: senioritis.
This disease, well known and feared among seniors, began approximately 53 years ago when Good E. Tew-Shews, a senior at Dream School Prep Academy, was accepted to his dream school, USCLA. He worked ardently and industriously from the moment he was brought into the world by a mother who had never ceased to bring down the hammer on his academics and a father who tapped his foot incessantly for the day his son would become an astronautical surgeon engineer.
But one fine and sunny Saturday morning, when Tew-Shews was about to begin the 100-page -0.5-spaced government paper, four conic rotation worksheets, and an elaborate diagram of the relationship between cellular respiration and photosynthesis that his seven teachers mercilessly assigned for the following Monday, he was afflicted with mysterious airborne particles and came to a realization, an epiphany, his apple of the Garden of Eden: he had already gotten into college!
From that day forward, the disease, unknown to mankind at the time, misled him to thinking that a successful future already lay before him, that his work was complete. He refused to begin any homework before the morning it was due and slept in class on a daily basis. His procrastination accumulated during the second semester, however, and as his disease worsened each day, his grades plummeted. USCLA, acting in panic brought on by this newfound disease, quarantined their campus and rescinded Tew-Shews’s acceptance.
Tew-Shews never became an astronautical surgeon engineer.
Scientists have never been able to find a cure for the disease, but have found that it begins and ends during one’s senior year of high school. Many have fallen victim to the repercussions of the illness, and only a few have the genetic mutations to maintain straight A’s during their second semester.
Currently, senioritis plagues Alameda High seniors as the spring season sets in. The casualties have been rising and the will to sit down with a textbook has been declining at an exponential rate.
“Now, it’s like we don’t even know each other,” one senior said when asked about his current relationship with his textbooks. “We used to be so close. We were best friends. We don’t talk anymore.”
Many have also experienced their school materials gravitating away from them as a result of their diagnosis. “I try reaching for a pencil to start my calculus homework, but it always feels like there’s an infinite distance between the tip of my fingers and the tip of my pencil. The infinite distance wins every time,” another senior said.
One senior even stopped bringing his backpack to school. “I stopped lying to myself,” Kento Okada said. “I only use one folder/notebook usually, and I’m pretty sure the bag itself weighs more.”
Senioritis, however, is not only rampant in academics but sports as well.
“My legs just refuse to turn over any faster when I run,” an athlete on the track team said. “During practices, they just start drifting… drifting….towards the McDonald’s on Shoreline.”
Practices that were mandatory now seem optional to many. “I keep thinking I hear my coach say, ‘Come to practice on Saturday only if you want to,’ but apparently, all the underclassmen hear something like… mandatory? Wait, what does ‘mandatory’ mean again?” another student-athlete asked.
The utter deprivation of motivation within the high school environment as a symptom of the disease has the principal extremely concerned. “It’s absolutely frustrating to see so many fall to senioritis and know that there’s nothing I can do. I’m always there to reach out a helping hand… and immediately withdraw it because the disease is contagious, so no thanks.”
Parents, now aware of a disease that Tew-Shew’s parents were not, feel much concern for their children as well. “My son was also accepted to USCLA under their early-action policy, but lately, he just doesn’t seem his normal A+ self. He’s more like a B average. I think I’m losing my baby,” one mother said.
The destruction that senioritis brings to Alameda High is ubiquitous.
And as the school year nears its home stretch, the disease will only get worse. Symptoms of advanced stages of senioritis may vary. These include chronic procrastination, no longer caring about anything, committing acts of stupidity, not studying, and not bringing a bag to school.
To prevent contracting the disease, wear thick layers of self-denial and schedule an appointment for an over-achieving vaccination.
Credits owed to Kento Okada for symptoms presented in the penultimate paragraph and Ethan West for the name, “USCLA.”