The Sincerity and Certainty of Senioritis


Dawntashia Alexander, student reporter

Throughout multiple generations of Senior classes, there have been multiple changes in how high school seniors are viewed. Every year, we’ve seen how Seniors have changed their clothes, their hair, their aesthetics, and other things that the older teenagers have used to express themselves. One thing that hasn’t changed throughout the generations of Senior classes, however, is the use of the term “Senioritis.”

The term Senioritis was made to depict just how burnt out on K-12 education the students were. After going through school for twelve years, things like school work and even attendance feel like chores. The Seniors are getting older, and they’re getting tired.

Taking a look at this year’s Senior class, for example, it’s easy to understand how ready they’d be to walk across that stage and receive their diplomas in the spring. 

When students and staffed were told to take two weeks off of school when Covid-19 had started making a more threatening appearance, the current Seniors were just Freshmen, and they were only in their third nine weeks of high school. That two week break quickly turned into a seemingly permanent break, because everyone was quarantined for the rest of the year. When the next school year approached, and the current Seniors had started their Sophomore year, there was the option of virtual, Non-Traditional learning, or students could go to school two days a week, for hybrid days.

Fast forward to now, the year of 2023, and the Seniors are eager to get through their first normal – and yet, their last – year of high school. 

Looking at the bigger picture, the class of 2023 is the last high school class that was affected by the spread of Covid. All of the other high schoolers that had their years disrupted by the virus have all graduated from high school. 

In any case, high school is already difficult enough, even without a viral illness that would eventually go on to kill over one million people. Going into high school, you’re told that you have nothing to worry about. You’re told that it’ll all be easier, since you’re just a Freshman, which is true, but things can still be overwhelming and even a bit scary. Going to a new place with new people can be difficult for some people.

By your Sophomore year, you’re just grateful to have finally made it out of your Freshman year. You’re more comfortable with your surroundings and your classmates. It doesn’t feel like everyone’s watching you like they were when you were a Freshman, and you don’t have as much attention on you, and it’s refreshing. 

Then your Junior year comes, and suddenly you are drowning in assignments and responsibilities and expectations and it’s all just too much. You have so much work that you genuinely do not even know where to start. Not to mention the duties you hold outside of school. It’s stressful, and it’s hard, but you do it anyway. You do it even though you feel like you can’t, because everyone knows that Senior year is the easiest. It’s the one thing every Junior counts on. All you have to do is get through your Junior year with passing grades, and then you’ll be a Senior, and then everything will be easy. Right?

That is, of course, until you are actually a Senior. You get settled in to your classes like you did every year, and you were calm because you knew what to expect like you did every year, but this year is not at all what you expected it to be. 

Suddenly, the kids you’ve seen with juice stains around their mouths have beards, and the girl you used to make flower crowns with during recess is talking about which colleges she plans on applying to. It catches you off guard, how quickly those four years passed. It’s almost like you blinked, and suddenly you were eighteen years old.

One second, you were a Freshman, not having a single care in the world. The next, you’re sitting in a Senior meeting, listening to a lecture on how you’ll be expected to order your cap and gown soon. It’s only after you’ve applied to college and been accepted, after you’ve realized that this is your absolute last semester of high school ever, and after your shiny, 2023 graduation tassel arrives in the mail, that you think “How did I get here?”

Of course, you’ve been told for years, probaby since middle school, that time time will go by quicker than you’d ever expect, but you never actually believe it. You’re thirteen years old and can’t imagine that the next five years of your life will go by quickly. That is, until you’re eighteen years old and you’re looking back at that younger version of yourself and calling them naive. 

All anyone ever tells you is that your Senior year will be easy and that you should make as many memories as you possibly can, because those moments are going to be the moments that you tell your kids about in the future. What they failed to tell you, however, was how scary it all can be. Your Senior year sneaks up on you, and you don’t even realize it until you’re already experiencing it.

That’s why Senioritis is so common. Seniors spent the last three years subconsciously preparing for the moment they walk across the stage, and in most cases, they don’t even realize it. Every extra curricular activity, every passing grade, every credit earned, every great accomplishment has helped them towards that moment. It’s almost suspiscious, how it sneaks up on you. You don’t even realize how much work you’ve put in, how many things you’ve achieved, until you receive a handshake and a diploma for it. The full weight of the decisions you’ve made and the actions you’ve done don’t ever fully settle in until the moment you’re preparing for your graduation. For some students it may be a couple of months before their graduation, for others it may be as soon as they feel the weight of their diploma in their hands.  So when their Senior year does arrive, and all of the heavy lifting is done, and all they really have to do is pass their classes and show up to school – Which they’ve been doing for twelve years now – they’ve got a bad case of Senioritis.