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  • Michelle Jang

Senioritis Hit Like a Truck, and We Love It?

According to @mxchjx412 Finsta Research Institution, 78.9 percent of the surveyed Holton seniors are experiencing various stages of Senioritis. The disease hit “as hard as a school bus can hit Regina George,” described Victoria Velasco ’19, and I could not agree more. This annually-occurring epidemic spreads through airborne transmission as drowsiness-particles float in Holton’s hallways and the Slounge. All second semester seniors with chronic lack-of-motivation disease are at high risk.

According to the surveyed Holton seniors, common symptoms include:

- waiting until 10 p.m. to open one's backpack

- finding staring at the crack in the wall more entertaining than doing homework

- substituting studying for the Spanish test with watching "Glee" with Spanish subtitles

- screaming, spontaneous crying

- fitting hours worth of homework into twenty minutes

- reminiscing on the good old days when one actually had motivation

- eating everything in the fridge to avoid starting homework

- being unable to get up before noon on the weekends

- binge watching Netflix/spending all day on Youtube

I believe that I, too, have been experiencing a particularly awful case of Senioritis. My biggest symptom is my inability to properly hold a pencil and write with a legible handwriting. The photo below shows the transformation of my Economics homework notes from the first day of school to now.

One would think that Senioritis would have waited to strike at least until exam season was over. Nope. Senioritis hit me the second after I pressed “submit” on my last college application, a week before exams. I’ve always been a big ol’ notorious crammer for regular assessments, but I have always always started preparing for midterms one week in advance because I fully understood the extent of my brain’s cramming capabilities, which do not entail being able to gobble up a half-year-worth of information overnight. I threw this logic right out the window when I started a one-month free premium subscription on Amazon Prime Video. Due to the time crunch, I had no choice but to devote every waking moment to watching all the BBC classics Amazon Prime had to offer (believe me. If you are a classic TV series fan, Prime is far superior to Netflix). Lured by Mr. Knightley, Mr. Darcy, Theodore Laurence, and Poldark, I “forgot” my New Year’s Resolution Clause One: “Do not cram, you procrastinating fool.” Since I didn’t have a language exam, I luckily had a full day off before my Government exam to make up for my lack/total absence of studying. However, I did not exploit this God-given opportunity. Instead, I spent the day watching “Godfather” 1 to 3. When I finally forced myself to sit down in front of my messy desk at 11 p.m., I knew I had no choice but to pull at least a semi-all nighter. I realized two things that night: (1) I am hopelessly Senioritic, and (2) one of Senioritis’ symptoms is chronic drowsiness. I’ve been a master stay-up-at-nighter for as long as I can remember. With a couple doses of Americano and Monster energy drinks, I could function perfectly fine the next day. However, times had changed, and even with an important exam and scary FRQs staring at me the very next morning, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. My body and my brain mutually gave up on each other, and I happily went to bed with the hope of actually hearing the six alarms I set to wake up early and study in the morning. Surprise, surprise. I slept through them all.

My Senioritis intensified even further after the exams. Two pop quizzes into Beloved, I recognized a profound pattern in the questions that Salata asked. I realized that she loves asking about the first and last sentences of each chapter. One night, as a Senioritis patient, I read the first and last sentence of each chapter for that night’s homework and closed the book. I actually motivated myself enough to open up my phone and google “Beloved Sparknotes,” but the chapter summaries were also too dense of a read. The next day, we got a five-question pop quiz, and alas, one of the questions actually was on the first sentence of a chapter, which I had read but had zero context to. I ended up getting a 0.75 on the quiz, and believe me, the 0.75 was quite a pity point (not even fully a point, but you know what I mean) gifted from Salata to me, a suffering Senioritis patient.

Is Senioritis real or an excuse to be lazy? I think it’s both. Senioritis is real because we seniors have experienced a whirlwind of high school life and have a legitimate need to relax, reset, and let ourselves feel grounded again. On the other hand, adults’ frequent accusation that Senioritis is an excuse to be lazy is also somewhat true (at least in my case). I come home, throw my backpack into a dark corner of my room, and do nothing; yet I feel no shame. I excuse my own behavior by telling myself, “You’re a senior. You’re fine!”

How does one cure Senioritis? If you are asking me, well, I don’t know the answer. If I knew, I wouldn’t be writing this blog five minutes before the deadline. However, anything’s worth a try, so in attempt to help both me and you overcome this disease together, here are a few suggestions:

1) Acknowledge the problem. This is the first step in confronting any issue. Have no shame in admitting that you are a senior who is slumping hard. It’s natural. Don’t worry.

2) Do some spring cleaning. My desk is currently a mess, and every time I look at it, I sigh. As soon as I finish season seven of “Gilmore Girls” (I have two episodes left. Point of Personal Accomplishment/Shame: I am extremely close to finishing/rewatching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in less than two weeks. I’m a pitiful/wonderful existence), I am going to turn my room upside down and make it squeaky clean. A clean desk might help me feel productive. Who knows?

3) Use this feeling of no-stress to your advantage. I believe that one of the basic causes of Senioritis is that seniors whose mid-year reports have already been sent to colleges feel no need to stress themselves out to maintain grades. Use this time to really enjoy studying and doing homework with no strings attached. We can make this be a time of us really “learning for the sake of learning” and enjoying the process.

4) Take advantage of school events. There’s never a dull moment at Holton. Go support Panthers at sports games. Sign yourself up for the Holton-Landon musical in the spring. Volunteer for something. These activities will keep you busy.

5) Think of everything as our “last.” Last February at Holton. Last mac and cheese bar at Holton. Last essay at Holton. Cherish each moment, and it will automatically make you more engaged and spirited.

Despite all the suggestions above, there really is no effective treatment to immediately get rid of an already-established Seniorits infection. If there is an over-the-counter medication, please let me know. I personally would greatly appreciate the information. I am honestly starting to feel quite dull and lifeless, and it might be time now for me to snap out of Senioritis.

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