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Sigh. Yawn. It's Senioritis season

April 01, 2008|By SHOVAL RESNICK / Pulse Corresponent

It's 10 o'clock at night. I'm surfing the Web and periodically checking my Facebook and MySpace pages.

For a fleeting moment I picture my book bag, which is still in my car. It has the government and anatomy books I am supposed to be using for homework.

"It can wait until tomorrow morning," I tell myself. "I have a half-hour in homeroom to do it, and then lunch for my third and fourth period work."

I am a second-semester senior. My disease is senioritis.

Senioritis has become widely known and commonly blamed for the workings of the high school senior mind. It is so common, in fact, that a Facebook group, "cause I'm a Second Semester Senior, that's why!" has 46,358 members and even sells T-shirts with a picture of a senior snoozing in class.

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The group site begins with a list of phrases that finish this sentence: "You know you have a bad case of senioritis when " The list includes " you think 'Why am I still here?' more than four times a day, quite possibly up to three times a period" and " you don't even waste energy arguing with the people you disagree with anymore since you're gonna be leaving soon anyway," and " you will make up any excuse to do anything slightly fun and off the wall just to make the day a little more interesting."

As with most everything else, there are degrees of severity of senioritis.

"I barely do any work," said Millie Lichtenberg, an 18-year-old South Hagerstown High School senior. "I've come to not care; and I laugh when (teachers) assign homework."

Some students skip classes or even skip school. They are at one extreme, but you also have those who do their homework (grudgingly perhaps) even if it gets done at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, or midnight.

Despite what some might think, senioritis is not just a senior thing. There is reasoning.

"I had it (this year) because I just wanted to be done with being basically locked inside one building my entire day," explained Michelle White, an 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Being a senior is an end to what a person has known since they can remember. From the time you are 5 or 6 years old, you go off to school every morning, you listen to what your teacher tells you, you follow the school rules. Then, when school lets out, you go home and do your homework. The next day you get up and do the same thing, then again, then again, and so on for the next 12 years!

By the time those 12 years near their close, you can just feel the end of the monotony growing closer. It's a little different in college, said White, the Virginia Tech student

"In college, you are not generally forced to attend classes," she said. "Most students go because they realize how much each of those classes is costing them."

You also choose to go to college, mostly, and you choose what classes to take, so classes, with the exception of general studies requirements, are subjects which interest you and will help you further your career goals.

"I think in the four years you're (in high school) you grow up and have dreams of where you want to go and at the end of (senior) year it's a big change," said Jeanie Fields, 18, a South High senior. "It's so close that those dreams have the opportunity to become reality. That is exciting!"

But sitting in a classroom and grinding out homework is not.

Sigh. Maybe I should go out to the car and get my book bag.

Nah.

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