June 7, 2016

“Senioritis” Is Important, Even If You Are Not a Senior

Jessie Ruchman ‘18

The average teenager tends to have a tremendous amount of responsibilities; they juggle extracurricular activities, clubs, chores, community service and their social life. Among their numerous obligations, they also have to get enough hours of sleep to properly function during their busy lives. Students often get caught up in the hectic, overextended madness that is adolescence and forget to prioritize their school work.
            While many students learn to use their time wisely and balance the workload and other commitments, many students admit to having experienced the feeling of “senioritis,” or losing motivation towards the end of the year at least once in their high school career.
            It is often said that falling into this pattern of giving up toward the end of the year is a bad thing, yet experiences like this can be one of the best teaching moments life has to offer. Many children who have given in to this habit of underachievement come out of it with a greater drive to succeed than they had before.
            One reason a student might catch “senioritis” is the false sense of completing the school year, which is often caused by breaks. By being able to relax at home or away on vacation without the stresses brought by homework, students might fall into their carefree summer routines. When acquainted with the reality of going back to school after a break, it is hard for kids to switch modes from being mellow one minute, to having hours of work to complete each night.
“As soon as I got back from break, I was unmotivated,” sophomore Shifra Zuckerman explained. “All I could think about was how it wasn’t summer yet and I couldn’t get myself to focus on my work”.
Although this may have caused her to not to do as well as she originally wished to on a few assignments due to the lack of ambition, Zuckerman had a realization: she would not allow herself to throw away all of her hard work from the rest of the year. Therefore, instead of sulking about how far away summer was, she used it as motivation to work harder and as something to look forward to.
Sophomore Alissa Lampert possessed the same feeling of “senioritis” after her breaks in the school year. Coming back from Mexico, spring break and even the weekend after midterms left her with a great deal of stress. The feeling of relaxation she acclaimed during break became the motivation to get through all of her hard work; she kept telling herself that her work would have to be completed in the best of her ability in order to eventually regain that feeling once again.
Another common reason for students to struggle from “senioritis” is simply working hard the entire year and giving up by the time finals come around. Junior Zach Colton-Max stopped doing work for a few days after AP exams and disregarded all of his efficient work habits.
“Once I got back to school and realized that I hadn’t done any assignments that were due, I saw that it was a problem and I got back to my previous work habits.”
He claimed that this experience made him understand that even though being lazy may be his natural instinct, following the urge isn’t an option and doing so could leave a major negative impact on his grades.
While some people find that they bounce back from an unambitious time period through the formation of stronger work habits for the same work they had always done, others find themselves retaliating by putting their newfound effort towards a different cause.
While looking back on her senior year, Daniela Shapiro learned that working hard at the things you love is more important than constantly stressing about grades. She made a cartoon of true survivors stories from the Holocaust, which was inspired by the graphic novel, Maus.
“I ended up working a lot harder on it than I imagined I would without even realizing it,” Shapiro explained, while talking about her senior seminar. “I put a lot of time into it, mainly because I did something I love to do”.
After feeling as though she could no longer try her hardest, Shapiro realized that she should continue to work as hard as she possibly could for the things she cared about.
Miriam Ruchman, a mother of a Golda Och Academy student shared a similar experience, in which she quit her track to receive her PhD. She felt drained and unmotivated and realized that she had to put forth more effort; she promised herself that she would work as hard as she could, yet instead of doing so to get a degree she did not need, she worked as hard as she could at being a mother.

Without failing and realizing what one does not want, it is very difficult for one to truly know what they truly want. Falling down and then getting up with a better foot forward is essential for students while they are focusing on their grades in high school. Catching “senioritis” and especially overcoming it, even after one is a senior in high school, can be one of the best experiences a person could have.
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