Senioritis sweeps through the class of 2024

CLASS OF 2023: throwing caps in celebration of the graduation of yet another senior class. (San Clemente Times)

Eden Havel | Head Editor & Newsroom Manager

January 18, 2024

“I just want to be done.”

This statement passes through the minds of more and more seniors as their final year continues, expanding among their classmates like a virus, and contaminating their motivation. After four years of high school, a particularly challenging junior year, and the grueling season of college applications, a recent study by Oxford shows that over 78% of high school and college seniors report experiencing senioritis. The most dangerous side effect of this burnout is simply a decline in motivation— as college decisions flicker in one by one, students begin to lose that tenacity that has kept them pushing for four long years.

Senioritis stems from a combination of restlessness, anxiety about the future, apathy, and the inability to concentrate. During such a fundamental chapter, as seniors enter adulthood and begin contemplating their place in the world, it can become trying to accomplish simple tasks that appear mundane. However, colleges firmly encourage students to do their absolute best from the beginning to the end of all four years; as maintaining this upward trend says much more about character than it does about mastery.

SAN CLEMENTE SENIORS: Ecstatic after all that hard work—now off to the next adventure. (CUSD)

Many colleges request a final transcript, simply to ensure that you have continued to challenge yourself and continued to receive successful outcomes. While it is rare, it is not impossible for colleges to reverse an early acceptance, should the student’s GPA drop immensely in the second semester. Continuing to achieve promising scores, grades, and feedback from your teachers can make you stand out from the incredibly large pool of applicants whose transcripts follow the anticipated trajectory.

“I’m in the IB program,” said senior Josie Burke. “Since so many of our big essays, projects, and tests are due this semester, it’s hard to stay concentrated and complete them all on time and to their best ability. But I’m hoping to end the year strong so colleges can see that I didn’t give up.”

If you’re at San Clemente High School, you’re in good company. Even for some of those outstanding in academics and athletics, the majority of SCHS seniors report feeling at least somewhat exhausted. Nevertheless, they try, pushing themselves through the final stretch of their high school experience to do the very best that they can. Continuing to participate in as many exciting and rejuvenating activities as possible is one of the best ways to boost morale, end the year strong, and deepen your connection with others— leaving your high school experience on a wonderful note.

“Do the things you enjoy,” said senior Ella Pratt. “Because once you’re a senior, it’s really hard to do the things you don’t want to do.”

And if you’re struggling with the anxieties of growing up combined with the stress of schoolwork, you’re also not alone. “My advice is to just stay organized,” explained senior London Braithwaite. “If you can eliminate potential stresses, like late work and being unprepared for big tests, then you actually have more time to relax and have a good time. It takes effort to stay organized, but it takes more effort to fight your way to the end as work piles around you.”

As we enter the final semester of our high school experience, staying organized, making time for the things that bring us joy, and remaining consistent with promising academic performance is the best way to fight senioritis. Motivation can be found in the simple act of doing rather than awaiting an energetic burst of productivity. As these final days pass by quickly, I encourage the class of 2024 to surprise themselves this semester, and why not enjoy these final months as much as possible?

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