Before we begin, there is a layer of irony that I would like to address.
I started writing this column at 11 p.m. the night that it was due. The cause of my untimeliness is also the subject of this article. In case you didn’t read the headline, that subject is “senioritis”—something thatWebster’s dictionary defines as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school, characterizedby a decline in motivation or performance. A quick Google search for “senioritis” solicits dozens of finger-wagging articles telling horror stories of complacency and of college candidates getting rescinded for slumping grades.
But Google and Webster’s both misrepresent a fundamental point about senioritis: they assume it’s a disease. Symptoms include jadedness, excessive absence, an avoidance of homework and a drop in academic performance. I think I exhibit at least two or three of these symptoms, and I have never been happier.
My last semester of high school has been awesome since I stopped caring so much. With college applications out of the way, I have more time to relax, reconnect with friends and just enjoy being a teenager with near-zero responsibilities before I’m shipped off to wherever I’ll end up next year.
Instead of long nights stressing over grades and extracurriculars, my time at Gunn is now characterized by midnight McDonald’s runs, unannounced trips to malls in San Mateo and getting Chick-Fil-A for lunch on school days. Wardrobe-wise, I now cycle through the same four flannels and four pairs of sweatpants every week. Why wouldn’t I? All the haters will be out of my life in three months anyway. Senioritis also allows me to start honing in on the things I actually want to do: reading 800-page books about World War II, watching ungodly amounts of Hulu and taking up new hobbies like playing the ukulele horribly.
But most importantly, the second semester of senior year is a time to connect with people. I try to make the most out of every day by talking with old friends, making new ones and squeezing memories out of every moment I have left at Gunn because inevitably, these moments will pass.
Senioritis is a lot of things, but “supposed affliction” is not one of them. Senioritis is a mindset a student adopts when they know there isn’t much time left in high school. They know they have a moment to catch a breath before they run off to jump through another set of hoops. Far in the future, when everyone at this school has inevitably found success of some kind, we’ll look back and see that senioritis has, in fact, led to some of the best experiences we’ve ever had.