Senioritis: resisting the urge to do nothing

Exploring my lack of motivation due to burnout and college apps


Photo by Jen Theodore | Used with permission (Unsplash)

Alex Zhang, Staff Writer

“What’s the point of this?” “What’s the point of any of this?”

I stare blankly at the empty doc in front of me, the words “due at 11:59” in bold on my computer. My fingers hesitate over the keyboard, the words that normally flow in an exciting rush from my fingers seem to dry up. Shrugging, I shut my laptop screen, get up from my desk and go back to sleep. 

Ever since entering MVHS as a freshman, I’ve heard about the mythical “senioritis,” an intense feeling of laziness and lack of motivation to do anything, primarily affecting second semester seniors who have finished applying or have already received college decisions. As I entered senior year, burdened by a seemingly endless load of college applications, first semester finals and a full agenda of class assignments left, my feelings of senioritis have never been stronger. 

 Just a week ago, I vividly remember looking at an overdue Money and Banking assignment, my body refusing to cooperate in finishing the assignment and updating my stock market portfolio. Instead of the usual excitement and passion I felt about the world of business and the intricacies of the stock market, I felt weak ambivalence towards an assignment I once would have cared deeply about.

Recently, I’ve noticed this trend spreading to the rest of my classes as well, an increasing desire to give up and turn in assignments late or not at all. The overwhelming combination of college applications and increasingly difficult academic coursework has sapped any motivation. Even though I tell myself that the official beginning of senioritis is so close and finals are the last push, the acute awareness that I am a senior ensures that I’ve already completely checked out mentally. 

This damaging desire to do nothing, remaining aimlessly unproductive and unable to push myself any further, forced me to reflect on what spurred my sudden feelings of senioritis. And after hours of careful reflection, I’ve realized that the primary cause behind this problem was the undeniable feeling that my time at MVHS was over. Checking out college brochures, applying for college decisions and researching life in another state made any work at MVHS seem forgotten and pointless. For challenging academic classes, I wondered what the point of taking them even was given that I’d be gone so soon. 

During a particularly busy day, however, instead of giving in to the urge to quit and immediately going to sleep, I decided to take a break and take a moment to appreciate my memories and all I have left to still do at MVHS. From looking at future club goals to a calendar filled with spirit events and upcoming dances, I slowly began to grow more excited about the remainder of my time at MVHS. My future plans slowly made way for the present, and after the 30 minute session was over, I returned to my assignment with renewed vigor. 

This realization that you can be excited about the future while prioritizing present activities was the antidote to my feelings of senioritis and enabled me to create a balance between my current assignments and future goals. 

As the first semester of senior year draws to a close and the official beginning of second semester senioritis approaches, I’ve learned the importance of appreciating the moment and combating senioritis. While I used to spend months planning out the intricacies of future possible dorms and where I’d eat lunch at various dream colleges across the country, now I focus on simply my plans at school the next day. 

Although senioritis is unavoidable during the high school experience and undoubtedly something that every senior (and even underclassmen) will go through, I’ve learned that not leaving behind this school community is essential, even long after students graduate from high school. Ironically enough, senioritis allowed me to become more productive and maintain the motivation necessary to truly enjoy my last year at MVHS.