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HIGH LIFE : A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Senioritis Is Fairly Common, but Its Effects Are Varied

December 30, 1988|MONICA NEAL

With little more than 100 days until graduation, many seniors have undoubtedly come down with that all-too-common virus, senioritis.

While many strains of this malady exist, some characteristics of the nasty bug are seen in all cases: laziness, procrastination and the constant desire for it to be Friday.

Is there a cure? Certainly. It's called graduation. Of course, this solution is months away. So in the meantime, is there hope?

"I don't think so," said Tom Kovac, a senior at Orange High School. "After so many years in school, you can't help freaking out at the end. The only thing that could help would have to be sedatives."

In some cases, the disease strikes prematurely, as with Kovac.

"I got senioritis back in my junior year," he said.

Jennifer Brunson of Corona del Mar High also said she felt the symptoms begin last year. However, senioritis is just now beginning to hit her hard, she added. "Especially with the holidays. After all the college applications are in, seniors are just waiting for graduation. And when people ask you where you want to go to college, you think more toward the future and just want to get the year over with."

Putting things off until the last minute is another common symptom.

"I've never procrastinated; it's always been business before pleasure," said Steve Knohl, 17, of Canyon High. "But this year, it seems to always be pleasure before business. I mean, I still get my homework done, but. . . ."

Paul Pilon of Saddleback High agrees. "I've procrastinated a lot," he said. "However, I haven't ditched once. Every time I miss school, I have a real excuse, so I don't even have time to (ditch)."

Melinda Babbitt, a senior at El Toro High, said that nearly all of her friends have senioritis. "Everyone seems to have it," she said. "Hardly anyone shows up to first period."

Apathy is another common problem as the days of being a high school senior become fewer.

"I kind of get sick of the whole system," said John Ruiz, a senior at El Modena High. "There's no mystery any more--you've been there, and now you want some excitement."

Tracey Brown of Orange High says: "I always wish it was Friday. School has become boring. I'm not as interested in the activities anymore."

On the other hand, some seniors are more immune than others to senioritis.

Todd Flora, student body president at Brea-Olinda High, said: "I've been staying so busy and active that I haven't even realized I'm a senior yet. Actually, I'm more pumped up this year than last because I'm so busy."

Flora's classmate, Brian Hudson, agrees. "I haven't had the chance to get senioritis because I'm so busy. I go to school, basketball practice, have dinner, fill out college applications and go to sleep. If I have any time, I do homework, so if anything, that's what's suffering."

With college being the top priority for most seniors, many said they are simply killing time as they await their acceptance letters.

"There's no motivation anymore," said Amy Mohan, a senior at Orange High. "For the first 3 years, it's all 'I have to get into college,' but now that all the applications are in, it's as if I don't care anymore. School just isn't my top priority."

Kovac said: "It seems like I have this internal clock telling me that it's time to move on, for school to end. . . . Boredom has definitely set in."

Senioritis or not, some students admitted that as the time to leave draws nearer, they still wish they had another year of high school. "Even (with senioritis), I don't want to graduate just yet," Brown said, "because I'm having so much fun with my friends."

Added Knohl: "As a senior, I feel like I'm more in charge, that I can do what I want. Being in student government, I also feel like I'm more responsible for the school, not just a part of it. I'm louder, more spirited and am having more fun than last year."

So even though many seniors suffer from senioritis and have an overwhelming desire to be done with their final year, perhaps the most common feeling is the one expressed by Babbitt: "This year is so much fun, I don't want it to end!"

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