It’s coming: Senioritis

Jones seniors’ performances decrease as college admissions roll in

With the first semester of virtual learning ending at the start of February, seniors are beginning to become less motivated and develop senioritis. 

According to the Oxford dictionary, Senioritis means “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” 

Warmer weather and online classes make motivation scarce  in the final semester. Online school is headed to a point where it’s almost the end for seniors.

“I have noticed a lack of interest in putting my hard work and dedication into my work,” said Gavin Ursetta ‘21. “During junior year, and the 1st semester of senior year, I had a clear reason and motivation to complete my work: college acceptance.”

Many students have felt unmotivated to continue their studies for copious reasons this year, but with college applications being completed many seniors have taken a step back from school. 

“I’m tired of school, to be honest with you, I have been feeling a lot less motivated to finish schoolwork,” said Monique Lawson ‘21. “Now that we’ve been getting accepted into schools, getting financial aid offers, and things like that, my motivation has decreased a lot.”

Other students say that remote learning also makes school a strenuous process. 

“I think when everything is online, and every day is the same as the last, like Groundhog Day, and staring at a screen is hard to have that extra push and that desire to learn when realistically just focusing is something you have to push towards,” said Emerson Hachinski ‘21.

Teachers who have seniors in their classes have seen a dip in performance since semester one. 

“I would say there have been some lower grades, and participation has gone down a little bit at the beginning of the semester,” said AP Statistics and Financial Algebra teacher Russell. Kerr. 

Kerr believes students are more influenced by the routine of remote learning than college decisions. 

“I think senioritis is always there, but I think it’s also a little fatigue from remote learning, COVID, and all that,” said Kerr. “It’s been almost a full year now. So I think everyone’s just kind of tired of this whole process.”

Senioritis is always something that comes around for Jones students, but remote learning makes senioritis applicable to more students this year. 

“When you’re at your home it’s much easier to check out than if you’re in the classroom,” said Kerr. 

Some students said they are only engaged in specific types of classes at this point in the year.

“The classes I’m most engaged in are the discussion based classes, like my African American History class,” said Lawson. 

Students described whether or not it is possible for teachers to fix feelings of laziness and indifference.

“Everyone is a different type of learner,” said Emerson Hachinski ‘21. “For me to be accountable for myself, really just having work that is my own thoughts and generated from my own thinking. Things like essays, long response questions”. 

Students had conflicting reactions to these words.

“I know the students reading the newspaper won’t be happy that I said that, but I think when it’s assignments that you can easily replicate other people’s work, or easily give half effort, it’s harder to get peoples authentic work and harder to bring out their best academic self. Encouraging creativity and thorough/original is how you maximize your best ability.” 

Some students think that more work that involves thinking like essays will help keep students engaged. Others think it is just not possible. 

“I think it is especially difficult for teachers to keep all grade levels engaged during e-learning,” said Ursetta. “However, it is especially difficult for them to keep seniors engaged who have little reason to excel in their high school courses when their future for the next 4 years is already set and stone. I do not think that teachers can find ways to help the seniors stay motivated to complete their work.”