Senioritis Hits Hard by Jack O’Donnell

It’s 8:15 a.m. and the second bell just rang, signaling that all students should be seated in class with their completed homework assignments, ready to learn. Some frantic students can still be seen sprinting from Main building to Wu building with the fear of grades looming in their immediate future. Lurking in the hallways is something even more ominous: a plague that has run rampant throughout the entire senior class. The dreaded symptoms of this disease are easy to spot: lackluster work performance, tardiness, late assignments and an overall lazy attitude are all surefire signs that another student has fallen victim to SENIORITIS. All of the Taft seniors have finally submitted their last college applications, and an enormous weight has been lifted from their collective shoulders. As seniors finally catch their breath after months of perfecting their Common App and college essays, they are extremely vulnerable to the perilous symptoms of senioritis, and it is nearly impossible to escape the short-term and long-term effects of this contagious condition.

For many seniors, almost all of the grades that “matter” have already been submitted to colleges, and the next five months before graduation may feel like a whirlwind of drudgery without a purpose. While there may be some justification for these feelings, seniors must never forget that the actions they take over the coming months can define their future as a student and as a person. Maintaining a high academic standard as a senior is just as important as enjoying the last semester on a beautiful campus that they have called home for the last three and a half years. More importantly, there can be some serious consequences to giving in to the trappings of senioritis. In the worst case scenario, seniors can actually jeopardize a college acceptance with a poor academic performance during their final semester, as colleges maintain the right to rescind an offer based on a senior’s final grades. At a minimum, seniors are at risk of adopting an apathetic attitude and work ethic that could begin to permeate every aspect of their lives. Consequently, seniors should do everything they can to avoid the negative habits associated with senioritis that can follow them into college and alter their academic futures.

The best way to fight off the symptoms of senioritis is to appreciate how special the next five months can be. Seniors must step back and realize that many of the things they have taken for granted during the last three and a half years will be gone after Memorial Day. Spending time in the Taft dining halls with their closest friends, crushing Hotchkiss on the athletic fields with their teammates, absorbing the knowledge of their brilliant and caring Taft teachers – these will all be a thing of the past in a matter of months. Taft seniors must acknowledge that their days as a Rhino are dwindling, and it is more important than ever to relish the opportunities that Taft continues to provide. It is extremely important for seniors to stay involved, stay focused and stay persistent in their day-to-day classes and in their extracurricular activities. This final lap should be cherished rather than tarnished by the scourge of senioritis.

        One of America’s greatest comedians, Groucho Marx, said it best when he declared “if you aren’t having fun, you’re doing something wrong.” Taft seniors should take this motto to heart and should focus on enjoying the next five months with their friends and teachers. The same “work hard, play hard” attitude should not be altered simply because seniors hit the submit button on the Common App website. Now, more than ever, seniors should continue to strive toward the horizon of graduation and enjoy the satisfaction of a successful high school career. There is still time to make new memories that will last beyond graduation, and seniors should savor this last stretch of their Taft experience.