Senioritis: Does it actually exist?

Emily Lewicki, Entertainment editor

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High school can one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, especially when it comes to grades. By working hard, studying for tests, and getting extra help, students can get good grades that will look good on their college applications. However, there is a time in a high school student’s life where college applications do come around, and the effort to do well in school simply “isn’t there.” This is what is commonly known as “senioritis.”

In a poll of 50 Orchard Park High School seniors, 80% of them claimed they had a case of the so-called “senioritis.” “I had senioritis since my first day of senior year,” said former senior Josh Perkins. What exactly is the definition of “senioritis?” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, senioritis is defined as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” The onset of senioritis usually happens after college applications have been submitted. During the final semester of their high school career is where senioritis is at its worst. Well, what exactly causes it?

There are many causes of senioritis that are affecting seniors constantly:

  1. The Finish Line Mindset: Typically by senior year, seniors feel “done” with school and have less desire to put in the effort. In high school, the grades you receive get you into the colleges you want. But what happens when you’ve already been accepted into the colleges you want? The effort goes away.
  2. Anticipation about college: College brings a whole new set of experiences and life changes. Dorming, meeting new friends, and living in a completely different city (or a different state) are just a few. The excitement to reach this new step in life and leave high school brings a lack of motivation in seniors.
  3. Boredom: Seniors think when they have been accepted into college, they must achieve only passing or satisfactory grades. They lose the love for learning since they have learned everything that was needed to know, or get them into, college.


Whether you are a senior who definitely has a case of senioritis, or if you are a junior suffering from junioritis (a stress-related condition opposite of senioritis), it will come and go. The phenomenon of senioritis is still a mystery to some, but in most seniors it is very evident.


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