Senioritis: Redundancy and redemption

By Shirel Benji, Staff Columnist

Twenty-five minutes into class, and you’re already staring at the clock, counting the minutes until it ends. Your mind can’t help but spacing out. Noticing your teacher’s angry glare, you nod your head, trying to make it seem as if you’ve heard every single word of the lesson. Finally, you can no longer suppress the urge to stand up, so you get out of your seat, walk out of the classroom, and fall asleep on the turf. 

This is the life of a senior with senioritis.

 People often think that senioritis is a made-up phenomenon, created long ago in the minds of seniors who wanted to get out of doing work and maintained by willing slackers on their behalf ever since. Even the dictionary doubts it, although at least it gives it space: Senioritis is “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”

 The teachers laugh in our faces when we say that we have become victims of senioritis.  But walk through the hallways of Shalhevet and you will find at least one third of the senior class sitting there each period — that is, before they get yelled at to return to class, and start watching the clock again.

Senioritis is real, and for those of you who are still confused about what it is, let me take you into the mind of one who is convinced of its existence.  Although I have been an extremely motivated student throughout high school, I too have acquired the syndrome. 

Trust me when I say I’ve gone through the whole shebang: six tests a week, two essays a day, and the three projects a month was the norm for me for three whole years. But upon becoming a senior, my view of life and my surroundings has begun to transform. 

To be specific, I have recently apprehended the fact that there is an entire world out there, one beyond the four walls of Shalhevet.

And that has made it difficult to do the same routine each day, without a way out. It gets tiresome, and instead of being awake to what is new, all you really want to do when you get home every day is take a nap. 

Most members of the senior class have their drivers’ licenses, but their cars don’t even get to be put to use because they’re parked for eight hours every day! Furthermore, when one is being given the responsibilities of an adult – as seniors in school leadership roles are – it’s hard to constantly be surrounded by people who are less mature and smaller in size.

Senioritis is not laziness. It’s just being done. Being done with the hours of hard work and stress, and just wanting to get out and experience what the world holds. Senior year is filled with talk about college, the life beyond high school, but it doesn’t even seem real because there are still another six months of redundancy before redemption.

This year would be so much more meaningful if we were expected to learn for a few hours each day, and then given the rest of the day to do something else. 

Since many of us are going away for college, it would amazing if we were given time to go and explore Los Angeles as a grade. One day could be a hiking day, another could be a Segway tour through Hollywood day — any new activity that could bring us closer during our last few months together while getting us out into the world we are yearning to see. 

We are only young once, and therefore we will never be able to see the world in such a novel way again. Why not let us do that with one another, now, instead of looking at the clock as time slips away.