Senioritis strikes again: Procrastination, laziness hit seniors hard

With the beginning of a new year comes the snow days, the semester exams, and of course, the senioritis.  As graduation day looms closer, the seniors are ready to bid farewell  to Howell High School and the underclassmen.

But before the momentous day arrives, many seniors contract something that causes them to lose motivation with all things related to school.  This tragic epidemic is known as senioritis, where sadly more often than not seniors break out of the school’s perimeter and carelessly set their student duties aside.

“It [senioritis] really is a disease,” Ms. Jennifer Starkey, HHS senior guidance counselor, says.  “It’s contagious and there’s no vaccination or cure for it that we know of.”

According to, common symptoms of Senioritis include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of sweatpants, lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude.

“Symptoms really flare up in warm weather.” Ms. Starkey agrees.  “A major concern is just a sliding of grades.  That can happen to really good students.”

While all seniors may not be rebellious, being contained behind school doors isn’t the most exciting way to anticipate a bright future.  Let’s be frank- sitting in class for six hours a day, five days a week, for almost twelve years can get tedious to say the least.  Most people underestimate the work it takes to be a student, and by senior year, negligence takes its toll on the class standard.

“They’re just sick of everything and everyone,” Ms. Starkey explains.  “But people aren’t invincible.  Anything can happen at any time.”

Typically, signs of senioritis start showing at the end of 11th grade.  At that point juniors are applying to colleges and squeezing in last minute classes into their schedule. Then once senior year rounds the corner, all notion of studious behavior goes out the window.

“They realize ‘Oh, it’s one more year’.  But grades really do matter.”

HHS senior Nicole Albert is one of many students who has watched Senioritis spread to upperclassmen while standing on the sidelines as a junior.  Now unable to avoid the deadly plague, Nicole experiences Senioritis herself.

“My senioritis hit a high point when I got accepted to MSU. That was back in November so ever since then this whole high school thing seems pretty pointless,” Albert says.

Senioritis isn’t limited to seniors, however; it can be caught by juniors, sophomores, and even freshmen.  Ultimately, though, it depends on the student.  And in the predicament of senioritis, anyone can be convicted; it’s not just one stereotype.

“I’m an A student, with usually one B, and I don’t care about my attendance,” a HHS sophomore says.  “It makes my mom mad but she can’t stop me.  I’m passing so who cares?”

That’s exactly what most students do- shrug off the consequences.  But Howell High School has a strict code of conduct system, especially towards seniors.

“Administration keeps a close eye on attendance,” Ms. Starkey says.  “Any kind of stupid behavior can get you in trouble.”  While warnings are a contant reiteration to seniors, all privileges really can be revoked, including senior prom, senior picnic, walking at graduation, and much more.

Besides getting in trouble while still attending high school, seniors also have the potential to ruin future college opportunities.  Some students fail to realize that once being accepted into a specific college, they can be revoked later on.  Colleges watch seniors’ semester and final grades as a part of determining whether they are still eligible.  So if things look sketchy, seniors are left with the consequences of high school punishments and start their college careers on a bad note.

“It can be heartbreaking,” says Ms. Starkey.  “They [seniors] get mad.”

The good news is all of this can be prevented.  Seniors just have to get to class every day on time, unless excused.  They need to respect others, the school, and themselves. But they should also take heed- senioritis symptoms can appear at any moment.  Once giving in to the irresponsible force of senioritis, it causes a domino effect.  Hopefully this year better outcomes will be chosen by seniors, at least until a cure is found.

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