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High school seniors are known for slacking off, especially after the application season. Whether it be ditching school, missing assignments, or succumbing to teenage drama, the infectious disease known as “senioritis” is a real thing. What are some common trends seen in second-semester seniors? Read on to find out.


Oh, how we all wish we could be like this puppy and sleep in (the-dog-dish.com)


For high school seniors who have just submitted college apps, it may feel like the months ahead are just an arbitrary waiting period for college decisions. Although time seems to stand still, life continues on, and teachers continue assigning projects and tests. School is still a responsibility. Grades are still updated, most likely on a portal that your parents can and will access.

Even though I was well accustomed to the responsibilities of student life, waking up at 7 AM every morning somehow felt more painful than ever in the last semester of school. I was tempted to skip a day quite a few times, but my parents wouldn’t let me. Our conversations often went something like this:

Alarm rings at 7 AM. I groan and mumble, “Can I pleeeeaaaassse not go to school today?”

Mom: “No.”

Me: “But I’m so tired! And we’re not even doing anything at school today.”

Mom: “No. No skipping school! Even if you end up sleeping during all your classes, I won’t let you ditch.”

Me: “…”

Surprisingly, many other parents didn’t do the same. In my all-seniors Government/Economics class, which happened to be right after lunch, it was often half empty. For people who had ditched too many days, they would just go home after lunch and get a half-absence rather than a full one.

The office ladies all knew about the tendency for seniors to ditch school. Since the administration loses money for every student that doesn’t show up to school, they had an anti-senior sentiment. Every time I had a doctor’s appointment or was sick and had to leave early, I would get a death glare and sharp words from the attendance clerk, even though I had legitimate reasons for having to go.




At the beginning of second semester, all the teachers gave grand speeches about how seniors should still maintain good grades and not succumb to senioritis. In order to prevent the spread of the infectious disease, they set out to assign more projects, labs, and tests than ever. At least, that’s what it felt like.

My AP Calculus teacher assigned a group project worth a significant percentage of our grade, and it involved designing, building, and analyzing a sizable model of our choice. In AP Literature, we had a ten-page final Shakespeare paper and had to memorize and act out 100 lines from a Shakespeare scene. I (thankfully) took AP Chemistry junior year rather than senior year, because second semester is when the teacher assigns a huge water lab and research report.

I stressed over a lot of the work that I was assigned, and overall my last few months in high school weren’t nearly as blissful as I had imagined them to be. I actually continued to stay up past the optimal bedtime, though that was partially because I couldn’t snap myself out of the senioritis daze and continued to procrastinate.

For my AP Calculus project, my groupmates and I met up nearly every day and worked on it for hours and hours. We got blisters and scratches from trying to force the chicken wire into an obedient shape. I ruined my favorite sweatshirt and pants from intensive painting sessions. Our eyes were strained from typing in all the numbers and figuring out how to create 3D shapes.

We ended up getting second place in the class and lots of extra credit. Yay!




So what happens to high school sweethearts as college time approaches? Suddenly, I watched the breakdown of many couples with years of history and were on the list for the “Cutest Couple” superlative in the yearbook. While in the past, these partners were so busy with their lives that they didn’t have time for drama, during senior year they became consumed by their angst.

Anxiety of impending college decisions + poignant sentiment related to the end of high school = significant increase of teenage relationship issues.

As someone who sat by on the sidelines while the drama ensued, it was honestly quite entertaining. Mutual friends between me and those couples often sent me screenshots of their conversations, asking for advice. Although, given that I had zero experience with relationships and no idea about the history and dynamic of those people, I have no idea why I was asked for help.

Word of wisdom: don’t trust your friends with screenshots of your private conversations unless you’re ok with them being sent to ten other people.

Senioritis often stems from a laziness due to the proximity to graduation, but I’ve noticed that in many people it also occurs due to teenage drama. Worrying over what he meant in that text last night and panicking over who to go with to Senior Ball can be very time-consuming. It can also happen the other way around, with relationships developing because of senioritis and a lack of attention to schoolwork. There were quite a few short flings that occurred, very likely because people had a lot of time on their hands.

My two cents? You can honestly use that time a lot better, by applying for scholarships or enriching summer experiences or even getting a job. There are numerous opportunities out there to be productive in your last year.




Most colleges require at least a 3.0 GPA in the last semester of high school, or else even if you are accepted into the institution and commit to going, you could be…


A 3.0 GPA may seem like an easy-peasy task, but I actually had friends who realized a little late that they may have slacked off a little too much and could potentially not hit that mark. One of my friends told me that she wasn’t even excited when she got her acceptance into UC Berkeley, because she became even more stressed out that she wouldn’t get the 3.0. (Thankfully, she did in the end.)

There are other ways to get rescinded, such as participating in illegal affairs and taking pranks too far, but another one that may not be commonly known is ticking off teachers.

During my AP U.S. History class junior year, a senior who walked in had a semi-cocky attitude and wasn’t the most respectful to the teacher. While other teachers may not have cared, our APUSH teacher was known for his strict standards. The entire class was silent as he gave a severe lecture to that person, and he ended with a threat about writing a letter to the college and potentially getting him rescinded. He sure didn’t seem like he was bluffing.

After the senior continued chewing his gum and giving off an “I don’t care attitude” as he started to leave, our teacher got up and took him outside to continue to the conversation. While that may not be the norm, do watch out, because these things could happen if you’re not careful enough. Though I can’t speak towards the actual impact of having such wrathful letters sent to your college, you’d be ill-advised to try and see what happens.

In conclusion: while senior year can have its ups and downs, and senioritis struggles can be hard, remember to keep your chin up and just keep swimming!

Isn't she just absolutely adorable? (youtube.com)

Isn’t she just absolutely adorable? (youtube.com)

Sara Tsai

Sara is part of the Class of 2020 at UC Berkeley, intending to double major in Business Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies. As a graduate of Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, CA, she is well-accustomed to the boba scene in the Bay Area, and her favorite toppings include pandan noodles, red tapioca, and lychee jelly. In high school, she was the 4'10'' "tiny but mighty" drum major of the marching band and best known for her penguin drawings.