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Op-Ed: Why Senioritis?

Saturday, December 15, 2014 by Ben Jacob

I did not think this so called “senioritis” was real. I had not heard of it until my junior year, and entering this school year, I was skeptical of the buzz surrounding it. Now I know it is unquestionably a thing. I have seen it. Seniors here at Saratoga stop caring and try to become as “too cool for school” as possible.

Nevertheless, my question is why? Why is there this attitude that once you are a senior, you can do whatever the hell you want? You are still in high school, you know. It does not just end with junior year. Do athletes give up in the last 25% of their games? I have never seen a football team enter the fourth quarter and immediately start walking instead of running, or swimmers in their final lap doggie paddling. So why is this behavior considered okay in school?

Presidents do not give up in the last fourth of their time in office. I sincerely believe President Obama is planning to get some serious Executive Action out there in these last couple of years he has in the White House. There is a reason the idiom “go out with a bang” is a commonly used phrase.

The final moments of our high school careers should be the most exciting; filled with feelings of satisfaction and true completion. Think about it like this: Nothing is worse than when a movie or a book falls completely apart at the end and you feel cheated by the whole thing. That is right; I am talking about you, Pirates of the Caribbean: at World’s End. That ending was terrible, and it ruined the rest of the movie for me. It could have at least had a more fulfilling ending. It made me regret seeing the whole series.

What I am trying to say here is that I think we (as people) should strive for content in life and part of reaching that content involves not regretting anything. You do not want to wake up in 20 years and say, “I wish I could have done things differently.”

We (as America, I mean) have a history of disillusioned youth. I mean, that is kind of, what being a teenager is about. You reach that point of self-awareness that makes you go, “Why am I doing this?” It is why we are driven to leave home when we do; that feeling is nature’s way of letting us know that it is time to go out and make our own lives. I do not think there is anything wrong with sticking it to the man and the system – America would not even be here without that attitude – but I think there is something to be said about working hard and playing “the game.”

We (as students now) are preached to about hard work and how it will all pay off, but it seems teachers, as senior year rolls around, suddenly start letting things go, allowing students to coast. If you want to just slide by and graduate, they will help you do just enough to do that. I’m not saying this is true of all teachers, but I can think of a few that make school feel like it literally doesn’t matter (I’m getting this from reports from my friends, of course, none of my teachers are like that. My teachers are great. The best tax money can buy.)

I am not blaming senioritis on the teachers entirely, it is certainly not their faults, and I know of many that try to combat it. Those who enable it or try to ignore it are the ones I speak of.

As my dad would say, “it ain’t over till it’s over.” I guess I’m a little biased considering I’m the kind of kid who writes for the school newspaper, but I think we’re getting set up for failure by being told that it’s ok to stop caring about school. We get off by saying that we’ll work hard in college next year or that we worked hard for three years, we deserve a break, something like that. I am saying; do not take that break though. Make this last year count. Make it memorable. Make your senior year of high school something to be proud of. After all, you do get only one senior year. Before we know it, we will be graduating (well, most of us, anyway). Then we will have a whole other slew of real diseases to worry about.

We can stop senioritis. I mean, unless you want China to win. Because that is, really, what it is all about, right?


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