Senioritis: 20 Signs a Student Has It and The Cure

Senioritis is a phenomenon that affects high school and college seniors worldwide. If you’ve found this article, you’ve probably asked yourself why you’re suddenly low on motivation. Is it simply the senior year slump or something else to be worried about?

You’ve made it to senior year! The culmination of all the hard work you’ve been doing in school all these years. You started out excited and amped up. You’re finally on top of the school’s food chain. The finish line is finally in your view and you’ve even made it through the first semester, but out of nowhere, you’ve lost all motivation. What used to excite you no longer feels as rewarding as it once did and weirdly enough, it all began during your second semester.

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There’s a pile of unmade homework and upcoming deadlines and it’s causing you worry and anxiety. You’re absolutely paralyzed and don’t know how to get back on track, or worse, you’ve lost all reason to even try. If this resonates with you in any way, you might just have caught a bad case of senioritis. But worry not because with this diagnosis comes Homework Help Global’s prognosis. Here’s everything you need to know on what and how to overcome it.

Female student stressed with school work because of senioritis
Does Senioritis Really Exist?

While some could argue that this is just another fancy term for laziness and an excuse for seniors to get away with not doing as much work as they used to in order to get to the finish line, the term has been around for at least a decade. And while it’s even more unmotivating to find yourself diagnosed with this supposed illness, you’re not alone. There are many ways to get your mind, body, and soul back in the groove of schooling and end the year as strong as you started.

Senioritis in college or high school is definitely a true phenomenon based on many student testimonials. It may have started out as a joke, but according to a Southern New Hampshire University academic adviser, it is “a real thing people experience.” That and the fact the term is not only defined in the urban dictionary, but the definition is also stated in Merriam-Webster as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.”

In fact, here are some statistics for you: Based on a survey that was conducted by The Northwood Omniscient, the student news magazine of Northwood High School in North Carolina, USA, “78 percent of seniors admitted to having senioritis.” A similar survey was reported as well in The Voice, the newspaper of Farmington High School in Connecticut, where 53 percent of students said they had senioritis. These studies factored in COVID-19 and how being a student during a pandemic has exacerbated the effects of this supposed disorder.

However, this phenomenon has been a recurring trend for seniors in high school since before the pandemic. In a study by William C. Carpluck on The Senior Enigma: A Study of The Entrenched and Sustaining Source of Senioritis, 23.8 percent of high school seniors said they “strongly agree” when asked if they believed their academic efforts would most likely decline in the second semester of their senior year (which is when the illness usually hits.) 45.9 percent of the same high school seniors answered they “agree” and only the remaining 30.4 percent disagreed.

Whether or not we reach a common consensus on its legitimacy as a real disorder, there’s an indisputable fact that a lot of students are plagued with it. Instead of focusing on its validity as a real illness, let’s instead focus on ways of combating it.

One of three male students asleep on stair steps due to senioritis
What Are The Signs That a Student Could Be “Infected”?

Maybe it’s simply a lack of motivation but if you find yourself agreeing to the symptoms below, you’re just going to have to stick around to hear our prognosis.

1. Waking up in the morning becomes the hardest task to do.
2. Finding yourself already being so over school even though you still have the rest of the school year to go.
3. Finding it impossible to focus on studying.
4. When your 15-minute study break turns into an hour or more.
5. Finding it hard to stay awake during class.
6. You went from planning and laying out your outfit on the bed before the first day of school to not caring about your appearance altogether.
7. Procrastinating on your deadlines and then having to pull an all-nighter just to get things done.
8. Having an internal dialogue with yourself and finding any excuse to not go to class.
9. Forgetting to apply to colleges or internships after college.
10. Getting a sudden surge of nostalgia. Wanting to spend more time with friends and even appreciating your parents more.
11. Feeling dread over adulting.
12. Wanting to simply skate by instead of aiming high.
13. Not wanting to do your homework.
14. Not caring about your grades.
15. No longer putting in the effort into academics or extracurriculars.
16. Asking yourself why you even need to pursue higher education.
17. Feeling guilty because you realized you haven’t been putting in the work, therefore feeling even worse and being stuck in the cycle of dread and pressure.
18. Daydreaming about quitting.
19. Wanting to physically leave campus.
20. Feeling overwhelming relief as soon as the bell rings and class ends.

Male student with senioritis having a hard time while working on laptop
What Are The Causes?

There could be a slew of reasons why this could happen and here are some of the plausible causes.
The Pressure of Perfection

While it isn’t inherently bad to want to strive for greatness and perfection, when students start basing their worth on their productivity, it’ll eventually lead to students feeling burnt out.

While setting goals such as getting a high grade point average, getting into internships or summer jobs, all while keeping up with extracurriculars are important, it could easily be too much to handle. Rest is as equally important as putting in the work. If there’s anything to strive for perfection, it should be how to balance priorities. Remembering that, “Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have” (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), might just be one of the ways to avoid unnecessary stress during your senior year.
Focusing Too Much on The Future

It’s an absolute given that one of the main reasons students are in school is to fully equip them with the right tools to prepare them for their future lives and careers. But when the focus is too much on the future, there becomes a tendency to be complacent with the present and that leads to losing sight of current priorities and school tends to be put on the back-burner.

At the same time, putting too much focus on your future could cause debilitating anxiety. This causes you to be unable to tackle present problems, for fear of consequences that have yet to happen. Fear of the unknown could paralyze you, so learning how to take everything one step at a time could be the answer to surviving the supposed illness.
Sadness

When you’re a senior, nostalgia just hits differently. In the past, it’s not hard to say goodbye at the end of the school year knowing you’ll still get to go back to the same school. You get to see the same faculty and be with your same group of friends, but when you’re a high school senior, you realize how much your life will change. This could even mean moving away from your hometown and leaving your friends and family behind. Essentially, leaving high school is to leave your life’s biggest safety net and it’s incredibly daunting. And just like any ending, it’s overwhelmingly sad. The same goes for college seniors since the transition to becoming a full adult could initially feel like all the joy in life is being sucked out of you. But that’s a conversation for another time.

Sadness is another paralyzing factor that could hinder students from wanting to keep the momentum they’ve had years prior. But with endings, come sweet beginnings. It’s only the end of one chapter, so try and look forward to the start of many new ones ahead.
Complacency

There comes an air of smugness with becoming a senior and it’s easy to blame just being plain lazy on having some dubitable disease. You’re so close to the finish line that you feel like you can get by doing the bare minimum and this is the mistake seniors commit. What they don’t realize are the consequences of not working hard enough and just skating by. For high school seniors, some colleges could revoke your admission if your grades drop. There’s also the possibility of being put on academic probation while you get your grades up, and this does not look good on your college application. This same complacency could even deter your teachers from giving good letters of recommendation.

Slacking off now and being comfortable with it could eventually become a habit you bring with you once you enter college or the workplace and by then, it’ll be even harder to bounce back from. It’s easy to blame it all on a supposed sickness but there’s a fine line between that and just poor work ethic. All this does is tarnish your reputation in your current school, your future college, and even future companies you’d like to join.

Students who overcame senioritis throw their graduation caps in the air in celebration
Will It Go Away?

According to Buzzfeed, the cure is simply graduating. If you’ve reached this far along into the article, that must feel a little anticlimactic and maybe even a little disappointing. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t solutions that you can adopt as you work your way to graduation day.
How to Survive Senior Year

So you’ve finally come to terms with your diagnosis. Congratulations, you’re one step closer to fighting it by addressing your problem.

One thing to note here is that it’s a matter of winning over your own mind.

It’s hard to understand how the mind works sometimes. One day you’ve got it all together, the next, it’s taking all of your power to even find the energy to get up and start the day. With all the unprecedented events that have been happening around the world in recent years, students aren’t the only ones who have had a decrease in motivation. Many people are struggling to carry on while battling a myriad of problems. It could range from mental health, physical health, or a surplus, or lack of work. It’s nice to know you aren’t alone in dealing with these problems. We are all guilty of putting pressure on ourselves in the strive to perfection and productivity. So much so that it causes an overwhelming feeling of dread for what’s to come next.

However, it’s important to note that our worth is not solely based on how productive we are and it won’t matter if we work ourselves to the bone if we are not fundamentally taking care of other areas of our lives. While being a student does mean a majority of your time and energy is focused on school, understanding that it isn’t necessarily your end all be all helps alleviate some of the stress it causes. If anything, you should approach this area and time in your life with as much enthusiasm and excitement as you can. Make sure you’re still attending to your other needs outside school. You can absolutely expect that life gets more challenging as you age and that there are larger obstacles ahead. This is precisely why starting as early as now to build healthy habits is important. Finding the balance between student life and normal life and exercising a great work ethic, are all imperative steps to staying motivated.

Here are foolproof ways and solutions to ensure that you end the school year strong and are fully equipped and ready to enter college or start your career.

Motivational words “You got this” for students with senioritis written with chalk on an asphalt road
Acknowledge The Problem

The first step to finding any solution is identifying and defining the problem. You’ve come down with a case of senioritis, yes, but don’t let this discourage you even more than you already are. Accept that change is needed and proceed with all the right tools. As listed above there are a multitude of symptoms and not all might apply to you so identify which ones do and take it from there. Whether it’s finding it hard to wake up in the mornings in time for class, or no longer caring about your appearance or your grades, identifying which symptoms you have will make it easier to find the solutions.
Organize

Whether it’s your home, study area, your notes, schedule, or mind, clutter and disorganization affect the brain. According to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, having a cluttered space is a visual distraction that increases cognitive overload, therefore, reducing the brain’s working memory. Neuroscience researchers have even found that having a clean, organized space results in better focus and allows the brain to process information better, thus increasing productivity. Removing clutter is a simple enough task and once you accomplish this, you are already one step closer to alleviating your problems.
Rest

As mentioned earlier, taking it easy on yourself is just as beneficial as the amount of work you put in. Even bodybuilders and people who love working out will argue that your muscles grow not when you are doing your workouts, but actually when your body is at rest that it is able to rebuild. You might think because you have senioritis it would be counterintuitive to add more rest to the list of solutions, but it all boils down to what you do during your time of idleness. Use this time to brainstorm and think of ways you could get yourself out of a slump. Instead of using your downtime to binge-watch movies or kill time on your phone, conceptualize a plan to get to graduation not just skating by, but passing with flying colors.
Make The Most of Your Senior Year

Instead of wallowing in sadness over a chapter that’s about to close, now’s the best time to hold everything you know and love closer to your heart. An era of your life is about to change completely and now is the time to truly appreciate how far you’ve come and make amazing memories that you can look back fondly on. Life is fleeting, make every second count. You don’t want to look back on your life and regret having spent your days slacking off in bed instead of learning all that you could and being in class with the rest of your friends. There are so many people who wish they could have the opportunity to get an education. Count this time in your life as a blessing and move with gratitude whenever you feel negative about going to school.
Find The Joy in Studying

There is so much joy in learning and growing as a person. There are also an infinite number of ways to do so. Everyone soaks up information differently. You might be the type of student who can’t sit still in class or is easily distracted, so find your own unique way of making learning fun. Try different methods, whether it’s studying with a close group of friends, trying the Pomodoro Technique, having music playing in the background while you study, and so much more. Maybe you’re the type to be more productive while working when you have a little snack. Check out our previous blog on Brain Food for Studying, and you just might find some of your favorite foods there to incorporate into your study sessions. Find what works for you and stick with it. Don’t be too hard on yourself when other people’s methods don’t work for you. We’re all wired differently so embrace your own uniqueness!
Motivate Yourself

Your teachers and friends can only motivate you to an extent, but it is ultimately up to you to take the reins in your own life. Decide that you want to be successful. Decide on being motivated. Wake up and affirm to yourself that you are able, talented, and ready. Manifestations do happen and it all starts with putting the thought out into the universe. Cogito, ergo sum. I think, therefore I am. Practice strengthening your mind with affirmations and watch your life transform. Have power over your mind, not the other way around.
Keep Calm and Carry On

Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you find yourself still unable to get in the right mindset despite following the solutions above, don’t quit just yet. These are all exercises that you can apply to your day-to-day life whenever you are faced with problems. Backtrack to the first step by identifying what needs to be done, be calm, and then proceed. It’s okay to pause. Everyone gets tired, everyone loses motivation from time to time. The important thing is how you get back up once you’ve fallen. It’s an obstacle, not a roadblock. You can always persist and carry on.
Still Can’t Muster Enough Strength to Get Through Senior Year?

If you’re still unable to get out of the rut and still need help, let Homework Help Global take some of the load off you.

Whether you need help with writing term papers, book reports, case studies, or even your Ph.D. dissertations, Homework Help Global has a team of smart, dedicated writers to help you. If you have an overload of assignments and are completely overwhelmed, our services even include making lab reports, math solutions, creating Powerpoint presentations and so much more.

For high school seniors, Homework Help Global can assist with scholarship applications, admission essays, and college or university applications.

If you’re a college senior, we can even help you get started on building your resume and writing a cover letter.

Senioritis is not the end for you, and there are plenty of ways to overcome it and we, at Homework Help Global, would be more than happy to help you along the way.

Check out our services to see what else we can help you out on or take it a step further and see our easy online system to get quoted for free or you can go ahead and order here!

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