Taking a peek into a senior classroom during second semester is like looking into another world of half-asleep students wearing disheveled clothing and sporting nonexistent backpacks. The diagnosis? Senioritis.

Urban Dictionary defines senioritis as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors and features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude.” Senioritis essentially becomes a rite of passage for seniors this time of year, with the seniors’ teachers left to pick up the pieces. The Knightly News spoke to several North teachers and students with experience in this intriguing phenomenon. The stories unearthed are amusing, and the opinions revealed are diverse; while some believe that senioritis is pervasive and must be combated throughout students’ senior year, others are willing to accept it as a normal part of senior year.

Ms. Goodkin:
“Well, as a teacher, I certainly can’t feel good about a senioritis epidemic (but honestly I don’t see one!). For seniors on the precipice, I’d say ‘No half vast efforts!’ (Say that fast, folks). For me, completing what I start is a matter of principle. I try to induce others to follow my lead by fulfilling any of my own responsibilities on behalf of my students. I guess the only funny moment has been a student who came for a makeup, and instead of noticing I’d handed him one he had already taken, he just took it a second time! I figured it out after I graded it and found there was already a grade for that test in the grade book. Maybe the student slept through it the first time?”

Ms. Biro:
“The first day of school, I tell all my seniors, especially the AP Stat kids, that senioritis doesn’t exist in this class, so don’t even bring it up or mention it. As they get closer to the AP exam, once May hits, it’s my way of saying, “That’s it, good job. Your senioritis can kick in,” but they just have to remain focused all the time. Let’s get real here—seniors, you are going to college next year; you should be able to enjoy the last parts of your senior year, but as teachers, we have to promote education.”

Ms. Kocher
“In a way I can relate. It’s the same time of year that it happens, and [seniors] take full advantage of being 18, signing themselves out. It usually hits after spring break because then Disney is not involved. In a way, I feel that it surprises teachers; they don’t expect it. There was an incident where I had about six kids signing out at once; little did I know, they were all from the same class. So the teacher emailed me later on and said, ‘Does anyone know anything about this?’ and I told her that half of them are 18, so there’s not much I can do there.”

Mr. Boyce:
“Senioritis is an almost incurable inflammation of the one brain cell they have. My son wanted a car, so you know what I did? I bought him a car. And any time he showed signs of senioritis, I took away his keys and drove his car. And then, as he cured his senioritis, he got his car back, one part at a time. If he did a couple sets, I gave him a floor mat. The last thing I gave him were the keys. Come see me if you start having senioritis problems.”

Leah Yourstone, senior
“I haven’t done homework at home for the past month. It’s my goal not to do any homework at home till the end of the year, so I just do homework in school and other classes. It’s actually working out better! My grades are just a little bit worse, but they’re pretty much the same. Teachers don’t really seem to care that I’m not really paying attention in class, which is something that I really don’t mind.”

Connor Munsch, senior
“It’s so freaking real! It snuck up on me. I noticed it a little, and I was like I shouldn’t let this happen, but I got it anyway. The only way to avoid it is to not apply to college. Take a gap year and you won’t be plagued by this horrible disease. I’ll get back to you on the example… get it? I’m not going to get back to you because I have it.”

Roshni Barodia, junior
“I think senioritis affects everyone even if they don’t see it coming. There seems to be no real cure, but I think the best thing is to not let it get to your head and to enjoy the last few months of high school without being obnoxious.”

Alan Xu, junior
“I don’t really think you can avoid senioritis; it’s just a question of when. [It’s] the one thing I’ve been looking forward to since freshman year.”

Julia Vida, junior
“One of the most effective—albeit controversial—preventative measures is to flunk junior year. But for those who still have some goody-goody antibodies left, reluctant to heed this advice, the best tried-and-true home remedy is to simply man up and study.”

Sid Kumar, senior
“Teachers get pretty mad about senioritis, and I don’t blame them because when they’re like, ‘Hand in the packets that are due today,’ no one hands it in because no one did it… and I’m usually one of the guys who didn’t do it. There’s no cure for it either, but it’s a real thing.”

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