Amanda Smith, a senior at Southwest High School, started off her high school years obtaining A’s and B’s. Now in her senior year, she has found her grades slipping so much that she is at risk of not graduating.
With the school year coming to an end, seniors are starting to see drops in their grades. Senioritis leaves many students worrying about how to improve their grades to help prevent it from negatively affecting their futures.
Ed Tamayo, a social science teacher of seven years who teaches economics and government at Southwest High School said he would describe senioritis as a “lack of urgency.”
“(Senioritis) starts with procrastination where, instead of taking the initiative to complete their work, they wait,” he said.
Attendance is also an issue. Missing school makes it so that it takes longer to complete assignments. This is when students start to develop an “everything will be OK” attitude, Tamayo said, which is why students start to see drops in their grades.
He said common signs of senioritis are late assignments, bad attitudes toward teachers and their work, and a lack of participation in class.
Edward Roncal, a social science teacher of 24 years who teaches economics and American government, described senioritis as students becoming flaky, losing patience and lacking the effort to do work to the best of their abilities, which leads to a decline in grade point average.
Roncal has seen firsthand how senioritis can affect a student’s chances of getting into college, as well as what happens when a student has been accepted before the signs of senioritis start appearing.
“There is leeway. First, you’re accepted based on your GPA, but if it starts slipping, they will rescind your acceptance,” he said.
Amanda Smith, a 17-year-old senior, is dealing with the toll senioritis takes on her life.
“I’m concerned with my grades dropping too low, preventing me from graduating,” she said.
The concerns Smith has cycles and creates frustration amongst her and her family and friends. The drop in her grades makes her family upset with her, and when she has to deal with the disappointment from her parents, she finds herself pulling away from her social circle which leaves her feeling depressed.
“Low grades affect my home life, which affects my social life, which in turn affects my mental health,” she said.
Smith believes the answer to preventing senioritis has to do with hard work and dedication. This will help students get where they want to be in the long run she said.
“Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, whether it be skipping lunch, missing out on social events, or giving up free time to make sure all your assignments are done,” she said.
It also helps to make friends that can help out with studying because it can be key to success she said.
Taking her own advice, Smith has taken great strides to improve her grades and is slowly seeing her grades get better. Despite her improvements, she still has doubts that she will be able to graduate.
Even though senioritis affects many seniors, it doesn’t necessarily happen to every senior. There are many students who keep their grades up year-round.
Kimberly Valencia, an 18-year-old senior, is one of the exceptions to senioritis.
After struggling to catch up in her junior year as a result of slacking off for her first two years and moving halfway through her junior year, Valencia made a goal to complete all of her core classes and graduate on time. Now almost a full year later, she is passing all of her classes with A’s and B’s and is on track to graduate.
This is a result of her strong dedication and the simple fact she’s not afraid to ask many questions and constantly checking in with her teachers to make sure she’s done everything right and she’s understanding everything to the best of her abilities, she said.
“My advice to those struggling is to take a short one to two hours out of your day and just do all of your work even if you don’t want to do it, it’ll benefit you in the long run. That mindset is what got me accepted into Pima Medical Institute,” she said.