The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile


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Tackling Senioritis with Finding Meaning

With graduation approaching, seniors are feeling the burn of the final stretch of high school. Link to photo
With graduation approaching, seniors are feeling the burn of the final stretch of high school. Link to photo

It’s a term every Hawk is familiar with. That dreaded slump that characterizes the final year of high school- the time when you’re sprinting to the finish line and suddenly your momentum gives out. The infamous, all-encompassing senioritis.

Senioritis is defined as the lack of motivation that seniors find themselves with as they finish their second semester. Knowing they will end up graduating regardless, they lose the drive to perform well. They feel exhausted after three years of high school (and altogether 11 years of grade school) and knowing their independence is right around the corner, the stresses from school cause their motivation to fully drop off.

For seniors at Horizon, senioritis is a well-known idea that we were introduced to by previous years of upperclassmen. They spoke of draining classes, sapped energy, and just wanting it to be done already. Senioritis was an inescapable reality that rumbled along like a bulldozer, trampling everything fun about their senior year. All they seemed to look forward to was graduation and getting out of there.

Current seniors are feeling senioritis in many aspects of their school lives. It has manifested in feelings of isolation, lack of motivation in class, and “chronically bad attendance”, in the words of Trinity Ortega, whom senioritis has hit hard.

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Senior Seraphina Finerty believed she would be immune to senioritis, but has been feeling the pressure due to her tougher classes.

“I definitely think my AP classes are contributing to it,” she states. “They’re a huge workload that I’m taking on my last year and I just want to get them over with.” Seraphina’s experience is extremely common among many high-achieving students who are feeling the burn of their tall workload the second semester.

Others, like Karina Gayatao, are feeling the burn more in their social situations. The environment at Horizon can be taxing at times, and although most times she tries to engage with friends, she stated that she “just feel[s] so drained” by the school environment. Social stressors are real contributors to senioritis that can amplify the stress just as much as the drain of schoolwork.

To Horizon seniors, senioritis is real, and it sucks. But there is also hope for its alleviation.

As its name suggests, senioritis is a senior issue, which leads one to wonder if it goes away once seniors leave the school. It would make sense that removing the cause of the draining feelings- high school- would thereby remove the symptoms. And it seems that the answer is yes.

Three former Horizon seniors, now college freshmen, spoke with The Profile about their experiences with senioritis. All three expressed the draining feelings of senioritis at some point during their high school careers, with their feelings similar to those of current Horizon students.

Tahlia Demarest, a current freshman at Regis University, has expressed similar feelings.

“Especially as someone with ADD, no matter how much I tried or wanted to, I just couldn’t physically focus on the school work,” she says. “I spaced out so many times during class because I didn’t have the ability to focus on it any more.”

While Demarest battled with a terrible bout of senioritis that made her want to “get the heck out of there as fast as possible” during her time at Horizon, she did find that it alleviated when she entered college. The freedom to pursue the things she cares about is what she attributes it to- “Now I want to be here because I’m taking classes that actually matter in the long run,” Demarest claims.

It was taking the classes that mattered that made the difference. While the workload of college is similarly rigorous, pursuing the classes she wanted that she knew would matter to her was able to give her motivation to push through.

Adam Stevenson, a freshman at UNC, had a similar bout with senioritis among his three AP classes. Being a quick learner with an innate need to keep busy, he found during his senior year that when he could “do absolutely nothing and still manage with an A, or the work was menial and boring, I lost interest and didn’t want to put forth the energy”, a common issue among motivated students that contributes to senioritis

Where Stevenson found his motivation was in his passion areas- his AP and music classes. Because they were things he really cared about, he felt more motivation to complete them. He told The Profile they “made me feel like I was contributing to a goal that would cumulate at the end of the semester and feel worthwhile”.

Similar to Demarest, Stevenson found his senioritis recovered in the areas of his school life where he felt like he was doing something meaningful for himself. He asserts that this contribution to something meaningful is the best way to stave off senioritis.

Our third former Horizon senior, Gavan Silva, asserts his only run-in with senioritis came when a family member passed and he lost all his motivation. Beyond that, he feels he was “spared the worst of senioritis” because- surprise- he found his classes enjoyable and meaningful.

What’s the common thread of these three stories? Each of these former seniors found meaning in the classes they were taking, allowing them to feel more productive and alleviate their senioritis. While it’s unlikely for one to think of every class as life-changing or beneficial, being able to view classes through a lens of feeling productive can allow one to feel more satisfied with their senior experience and alleviate some of senioritis. If it’s classes you love or classes in the field you will enter in the future, this is much easier to do. If it’s boring classes or semester electives you didn’t sign up for, this is more difficult, but at the very least you can know that they’ll paint you as well-rounded in future resumes or college applications.

Senioritis is tough. It can feel like trying to walk through a tar pit. But trying to find joy and fulfillment where you can is essential to making it through. Take time to be proud of good grades you’ve received or to think about how the classes you’re taking, if nothing else, will paint a picture of the type of well-rounded student you are. Regardless of useless classes or draining environments, with any luck we will all be out of here in a few months, and the knowledge that freedom is on the way will always be there to reassure us. 

As Edward Fitzgerald says, “This too shall pass”.

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About the Contributor
Grace Hilliard
Grace Hilliard, Assistant copy editor and Marketing and Social Media Director
This is Grace’s first year in journalism- and only year, as they graduate in May! Grace loves writing, art, and storytelling, and she hopes to get some a career in some kind of storytelling field (the dream would be a graphic novelist!). Beyond journalism, they do Battle of the Books and Theater, where they delight in being able to connect with others and discuss, tell, and act stories. In her free time she enjoys drawing, reading, listening to music, playing Minecraft, and watching animated shows.

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