Hopkins Academy

The Senioritis Epidemic

In Features on September 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

Andrea Valentini ’13

Most people would say that the flu is the most common illness among high school students. Many teachers, however, might beg to differ after dealing with classes full of seniors who have come down with senioritis. Senioritis spreads like wildfire, feeding on the weak and the lazy, becoming worse as time creeps on. Unlike the flu, even the worst cases of senioritis aren’t fatal; the end result is graduation. I decided to investigate this epidemic and talk to the people who are infected or are at risk. The most common symptom is procrastination. Every single person interviewed said this was one of the major issues they experienced. Other symptoms most noted by the seniors include laziness, boredom, and a general lack of caring. One student said that he found himself back talking more often and occasionally trying to find a reason to ditch class.

I interviewed Matt Waskiewicz’12 and he says, “Roaming the halls and keeping a count down till the last day of school” are his worst impulses. I also asked if he thought this was an issue (I know Senora Fitzgibbons does). He simply said “Not at all. In fact, I embrace it”.

Another question I pondered was, “When does senioritus begin?” Some said that it hadn’t set in yet, but most said it started at the end of last year. One person I interviewed said, “I’ve had it since 9th grade, to tell you the truth.” When I asked Brandon Marcoux’12 this question, he gave me a very unique response. He said he found that he was doing his homework earlier than he used to. He also said that he didn’t have time to have senioritis and that homework and things to do for college were taking over his time.

Finally I interviewed the senior with the worst case of senioritis, Russell Omer. He has every possible symptom and is proud of it. I asked him if he felt he got in trouble for being so care-free. His reply was, “I don’t get in trouble.” I’ve noticed through observation that the students who are more relaxed and tend to slack earlier in the high school years get a worse case of senioritis than someone who has generally been on top of things. Russell has had an early case of senioritus. Mrs. Niedziela, Russell’s chemistry teacher, even mentioned to him once that he has had senioritis since Sophomore year. Anyone who knows Russell knows that he’s shown signs of senioritis even before that.

How do teachers like Mrs. Niedziela feel about this? I decided to ask them. First I went to Mrs. Sorentino, our school nurse, and asked her if she felt that more seniors were coming down to visit her with excuses to leave. She said that they don’t actually want to leave; they just want to skip a boring class and they don’t even make up an excuse to be in her office.

Then I talked to Mr. Burns, a history teacher and mythology teacher who has been teaching the seniors since freshman year. I asked him if senioritis was a problem. He said, “ No, but they can get out of hand and by the end of the year they don’t want to do the necessary work. I just say if they don’t hand it in they don’t pass.”

Next I questioned Madame Robert, our french teacher who has had to deal with us since seventh grade. When I asked her if senioritis was a problem she replied, “ No, it can even be fun. It only gets in the way when the seniors distract the younger students from learning.”

The last person I talked to was Mrs. Judah, our creative art teacher. Her response was, “Absolutely not. It’s all just natural, the seniors are just ready to fly.”

After asking a large group of seniors and a handful of teachers, it seems that the epidemic may not be so horrible. After all the questions I asked seniors, I noticed they all had a common question for me:  “You’re not gonna put my name in this, right?”

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