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Your Tewksbury Today

(Opinion) Tewksbury Tribune: The Truth About Senioritis

Apr 07, 2019 06:28AM ● By Bill Gilman
(Editor's note: The Tewksbury Tribune is the school newspaper of Tewksbury Memorial High School. Your Tewksbury Today is pleased to re-publish selected work by their talented young journalists.)

By Kerry Shea
Tewksbury Tribune

As third quarter comes to a close and senior project begins to unravel, the seniors here at TMHS could not be more eager for their pending release. With senior week festivities coming up, and senior prom just around the corner, there are an abundance of activities for our 12th graders to look forward to. However, amidst all the excitement and anticipation, it can often become difficult to keep up the level of diligence and discipline required to meet academic standards and maintain good grades.

They call it senioritis. Defined in the dictionary as a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Urban dictionary writes that symptoms may include “laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts.” Senioritis also affects studying habits, attendance, and attitude. As days towards graduation decrease, absences and tardies tend to increase. The only cure for this dreadful disease…..graduation.

Not only does senioritis afflict the hooligan students who never cared about school in the first place, it seems to have a general effect on the grade as a whole. I interviewed some of TMHS’s finest seniors, such as Amber Buttaro, Caitlin Conneely, and Stephanie Jean-Baptiste regarding their personal experience with senioritis. When asked about the presence of senioritis in their current lives, 3 out of the 3 students agreed that it was something they were beginning to struggle with.

I asked them how they were personally affected by the condition’s ferocious course and many spoke to their decreased work ethic and increasing lack of intrinsic motivation. I received straightforward responses such as, “I don’t do things” (Amber Buttaro) and “It’s really bad, I cry” (Caitlin Conneely). Stephanie claims she “doesn’t do any of her homework anymore” and that she’s “struggling to pass Muise” (the teacher of a pre-calculus course here at TMHS); a claim Stephanie later revoked, but still described second semester senior year as “a true struggle.”

In my opinion, second semester senior year would be a whole lot better if teachers would give us a break. Personally, at this point, for me, I’m just done. Between college applications, sports,

scholarship applications, home life, social life, college DECISIONS, ANDD school, the amount of things to keep track of are never ending. I understand however, that teachers can’t particularly give special treatment to certain students. But I think if workload was lessened, and due dates were stretched out, there would be a boost in morale and a shift in the attitude seniors possess when it comes to tackling their last semester of high school. Additionally, in my opinion, the pressures of future planning should be far superior to the pressures of current, insignificant school assignments.

That is not to say that I don’t believe students should put forth an adequate amount of effort in their remaining school days, I just believe their levels of exhaustion and fatigue should be recognized, understood, and considered. If this were to occur, I’m sure the magnitude and intensity of complaints/resistance would drastically decrease amongst second semester 12th grade students. In this way, it would serve to benefit not only students, but teachers too! Win-Win! #WHYwedothis


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