Senioritis Hits Hard

Being a senior during quarantine.

Senioritis, defined by Google, is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. In shorter words, it’s when seniors begin to care less about school. 

Though senioritis affects almost everyone during their senior year, online school and being in quarantine has made it much easier for students to become less motivated. Sarai Ortiz, a senior at North Hollywood High School, states, “I’ve been taking more naps lately. It’s been over a year since we’ve had online school so I’m getting exhausted. I’m zoomed out, I guess.” 

Due to the pandemic, North Hollywood students have been confined to their own homes for the past school year, taking classes on Zoom. Not only do students feel “Zoomed out,” but the comfort of taking classes from their own house makes it harder for them to participate in class.

“Being on Zoom makes me feel like I’m not a part of the class. It makes it easier for me to not participate during class,” Jasmine Alas-Castillo, another senior, claims. Ortiz also says, “If I wasn’t home and if I was with my friends, I know that I wouldn’t get senioritis. I just don’t get the same sense of motivation if I’m at home.” 

However, another big factor of senioritis comes from the feeling of completing the college application process and being done with their high school career. Ortiz explains, “My priorities aren’t set anymore. I lose my motivation because I know I’m above my credits and I know that I’ll be okay.”

Many seniors experience a loss of motivation, regardless of the workload given by teachers. “The amount of work is not the problem, it’s just my motivation and that’s what I think teachers should know,” Castillo states. 

She also goes on to mention that the cause of her senioritis was mainly the college application process as it is a long, tiring process. Mr. Duarte, an AP Government teacher, understands this perspective– “Students, once they get their acceptances, they know that a C will still get them to where they want to be.” 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of the senior year experience, students are still expected to undergo the intensive college application process and attend school. Seniors graduating in the 2020-2021 school year are unable to reap the same benefits as seniors in the previous year; from Senior Sunrise to prom, seniors this year have been deprived of the events that allow them to take a breather from their hectic academic lifestyle. 

Furthermore, they are unable to connect with their teachers. Ortiz recalls, “being excited for senior year,” but that excitement soon turned to disappointment as she was unable to return to campus due to the pandemic. Mr. Duarte states, “I wish Covid was gone,” as teaching online is not the same as teaching in a classroom full of students. 

Despite finishing the college application process, Mr. Duarte wishes to convey to students that, “The light at the end of the tunnel is simply a transition to another tunnel.” While applying and going to college is a feat in itself, students must remain focused as their journey does not end here.