It Can Happen To You: How To Recognize Senioritis


Confessions of a Teenage Mind

Most cases of this common high school affliction are left untreated

By Kaitlyn Von Behren, Current Staff

I realized I had senioritis when I sat down at my computer and didn’t even really feel like writing an article on senioritis.

I figure this is because writing an article on senioritis means admitting this disease exists, and that I, as a senior, am susceptible to it and probably already have it.

My dad told me even before school started that I would have no senior slide, meaning I am to maintain my GPA from my first three years of high school.

Even then, I was excited for the content of most of my classes, as I finally had freedom in picking them. However, at the same time I was dreading the homework load and studying I knew were inevitable.

I have come to realize, though, that someone doesn’t even need to be a senior to have senioritis, and that many different types of senioritis exist: early-onset, regular-onset, angsty and top-of-the-class, some of which can coincide.

Early-onset senioritis is not talked about much because most of the time it is assumed to be a different problem. For example, when I see a ninth grader meandering the halls during class, my first thought is never “I bet she has senioritis,” although that could, in fact, be the case.

The easiest ways to diagnose early-onset senioritis are identifying which sophomores still stop walking in the middle of a busy hallway intersection—it’s most likely out of dread for their next class—or juniors who answer all C’s on the ACT or cry softly during standardized testing.

Regular-onset senioritis is typically perceived to be more common, but is it really? Who knows? Perhaps I could if I took the time to research. However, my early-onset senioritis is kicking in, sorry.

Angsty senioritis is what most people think of when they hear the word “senioritis” or even just “teenagers.” Someone with angsty senioritis is the type to complain about their grades over a stack of late homework they will never do.

Symptoms of angsty senioritis include taking the bathroom pass and never coming back, faking sick so one can stay at home or sleep in the clinic, new and intense food cravings, texting, sleeping, or zoning out during class, the senior slide and recurring headaches.

Conversely, someone with top-of-the-class senioritis is just that, at the top of their class. While they do not have the decline in performance which usually characterizes senioritis, they certainly experience the lack of motivation and the desire to graduate and leave high school.

One of the easiest ways to diagnose early-onset senioritis is identifying which juniors answer all C’s on the ACT or cry softly during standardized testing.

They have probably been this way since the second semester of their ninth grade year. They work so hard because they want to get out and into their top-choice college, and can’t imagine going anywhere even slightly less than their perception of perfect.

This type of senioritis is typically not seen as senioritis at all, because people suffering from it pose no challenges to teachers or administration, unlike angsty senioritis. They hand all their homework in on time or even early. They get good grades and participate in athletics or other extra-curriculars or both. As you read this, they are probably filling out college applications with a feverish intensity.

Typically, when one thinks of senioritis, they think of dropping grades and talking smack about teachers, among other things, but it is simply the opposite with top-of-the-class senioritis.

Many people who suffer from early-onset senioritis often develop top-of-the-class senioritis later on, and can possibly graduate a semester or even a year early due to its effects.

It is worth mentioning that not all people at the top of their class have developed senioritis, and are not simply doing well out of fear of not getting into their top choice college—just many of them.

Some risk factors for senioritis include having friends with senioritis or having a schedule heavy with AP or honors classes during the ninth or tenth grades. This makes students more likely to burn out and develop early- or regular-onset senioritis than their regular education counterparts.

To conclude, my apologies just in case this article is subpar. (If it is, you know why.)

(Confessions of a Teenage Mind is a regular column written by Kaitlyn Von Behren, Current Staff. Above: Jaden Kesler, West sophomore, suffers from early-onset senioritis. Photo by Von Behren.)

1 Comment

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One response to “It Can Happen To You: How To Recognize Senioritis

  1. Tiffany Gitter

    Love the intro! Incredibly relevant issue 🙂

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