BY KARINA BLODNIEKS
Standing on the cusp between the two semesters, it’s high time for seniors to start dropping like Mayflies.
It is the ailment of all ailments – the one sickness that can keep any senior home three days a week with no symptoms except a case of unrepentant truancy. It’s senioritis season, because with applications sent, acceptances in hand, or plans in place, it’s hard to resist the nagging urge to not really try that hard.
“Senioritis is definitely real,” Senior Benjamin Goldstein said. “So far this year has felt like one giant personalization period: you’re technically supposed to do stuff, but why bother?”
This thought process is compelling, but make no mistake: whatever institution of higher learning a student commits to will be keeping tabs. With mid-year and final transcripts due, private college admissions advisor Christine VanDeVelde says that “a college’s acceptance is conditional on completing the senior year at the same level of performance as when the student was admitted.” Obviously, prospective students shouldn’t be penalized for a single letter-grade drop in one class, but an overall “significant” GPA drop could be a red flag to colleges.
The technicalities vary between schools, so before diving headfirst into the senioritis comfort blanket, students should be very aware of the rescinding policies of their reach schools, not just their safe schools.
“If the college sees that a student has dropped out of a class that they intended to take, or received poor grades in their senior coursework, they run the risk of the college rescinding their acceptance decision,” CCHS BRACE Advisor Christine Siwek said. “There have been instances where students were moving into their dorm and were actually sent home because their final transcript showed the damage that senioritis can cause.”
If the student is still pulling off high grades without putting much effort in, however, the student should be aware that the foundational concepts learned in high school are critical to continued success in college. Basic principles taught in high school will be built upon, and students lacking the information may be at a disadvantage. For instance, if a student enters a program for engineering, but tuned out their entire second semester of AP Calculus, that student may not have the same level of know-how that their well-learned peers will.
But even for seniors who aren’t planning to attend an institution of higher education, the courses high school offers are an important part of the educational journey. Valuable knowledge and skills are disseminated in all years of high school, and being a senior does not preclude one from continuing to nourish their minds.
“Even though being a senior is fun and we tend to slack off toward the end of the year, it’s important to stay focused and learn as much as we can,” Senior Chad Shillito said. “As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’”
Even without intrinsic motivation, walking the stage at graduation still requires that seniors successfully complete all of their required credits, so failing to pass a course such as English 4 could be the difference between graduating and the alternative.
In any class with more than a couple of seniors, the potential for disruption is high. When students don’t care, it seems to have a ripple effect, bringing more and more students down with the sinking ship. However, hope for disillusioned students and frustrated instructors is not lost.
“Conferencing with my seniors has been helpful and is solving the issue,” AP Research teacher Lisa Jones said.
All in all, seniors must collectively decide to put their best foot forward and continue to emphasize their education. Without doing so, many seniors, their classmates, and their teachers may face academic consequences.