I’ve spent my four years here at MVHS working pretty hard. I came to class on time, I turned my work in (mostly on time) and I studied for (most of) my tests. I’ve done well for myself in high school.
But during the last couple months, these studious habits started to crumble.
Homework has gotten placed on the backburner. I’ve slept in multiple times. I’ve shown up late more often. I’ve slept less. Projects, studying for tests, other commitments — they’ve all been blown off to a certain degree. At the last second, I find myself scrambling to finish everything.
And the funny thing: I have made myself stressed doing nothing.
An oxymoron, you may say. It’s true — I’ve had a good time screwing around with my friends, staying out late on weeknights, and trying things that I’ve been too intimidated to try because of time constraints. But the house of cards is beginning to fall. I now have to work especially hard just to maintain my grades.
Despite all this, however, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I wouldn’t change what has led to me being stressed out now. I wouldn’t change the fact that I blew off some work or maybe wasn’t as diligent as I had been with my work previously. I wouldn’t really change any of my experiences suffering from senioritis. It feels good to have a good time. It feels good to be happy. It feels good to know where I’m headed in the future, and enjoy a nice cruise for the last few months.
Thanks for putting up with me, teachers. It finally feels good to be a second semester senior.
AP Calculus, Period 2
“Mr. Brighton, you are looking very comatose today.”
This is the second time I’ve had my math teacher, Martin Jennings. The first time was for Algebra 2/Trig during my sophomore year. This year, I had him for Calculus.
Mr. Jennings has made many a comment about my tired expressions in the mornings. I have Calculus second period, I don’t have a first period and oftentimes I don’t sleep enough.
Sometimes, I come to class late because I become disheveled and disorganized when I’m sleepy. It’s the first period of my day, I’m sorry.
“[Second semester seniors] are not much different than a first semester senior, other than that they feel temptations that maybe they didn’t feel first semester, temptations like slacking off,” Jennings said.“Temptations like slacking off. Somehow they’ve finished enough, and they’re going to enjoy the moment a little more than they would’ve.”
“I encourage the group from the beginning of the year to finish the race and not just come up short,” Jennings said.
My temptation was homework. During first semester, I meticulously completed most assignments, trying my hardest to put the highest quality work I could produce on paper.
Second semester was a different story. Math homework was bottom on the list of my priorities. I did “enjoy the moment,” so to speak, much more than I did first semester. If it came between a late night McDonalds run or math homework, I’d put my pencil down and head to the golden arches.
“Some are able to focus a little better than others, or remain the same student they were, better than others are,” Jennings said. “You do seem to be a little less focused on your math, but not as bad as many others.”
For the most part, I think I appeared to be the same student that was in first semester to others. Even though my demeanor hasn’t been as serious, my grades have remained relatively consistent.
“You’re late more often. You do seem more tired than you did in first semester,” said Jennings.
Attendance is a struggle for everyone. I may have come to school during first semester looking happier than second, but I left every day during second semester feeling happier than I did during first. The side effect may have been a few tardies and a comatose expression at 8:30 in the morning, but I’ve had a good time doing non-math related activities.
I love finding integrals, don’t get me wrong. But it’s hard for me to become excited about finding them at such an hour. Jennings has a positive attitude about this lack of enthusiasm from senioritis though.
“I feel like I have a job to do, [and] I’m going to do the best job that I can. I can’t control how students receive that,” Jennings said. “Only students can make those decisions.”
AP Government, Period 3
I really like the courts system. The Schenk “clear and present danger” to me is fascinating Because obscure things like these and cases like McCulloch v. Maryland and Obergefell v. Hodges interested me, I put my best foot forward in Benjamin Recktenwald’s third period AP Government class. Apparently, this best foot that I put forward still had a second semester senior attached to the other end.
“AP classes tend to be more focused generally. And that even applies regarding senioritis,” Recktenwald said. “Even second semester seniors in an AP classes, they’re not as focused as first semester seniors, but they are more focused than students in regular Gov.”
“You got mouthier,” said Recktenwald. “We developed a little more of a rapport, so you got a little more chatty.”
In my defense, I just like debating. To me, the back and forth between Recktenwald and I is fascinating. He said obnoxious things (like when he compared Christianity to Pastafarianism — I mean, those people wear pasta strainers on their heads), but all of these borderline, crazy things helped me develop my understanding of government from a more theoretical standpoint.
“All second semester seniors are, what’s the word I’m looking for, trying, frustrating,” Recktenwald said. “Your attendance slipped as the semester went on. And that’s not because of AP tests. Early in the semester, you were never tardy. In the month of May and late April, [you were tardy] three or four times.”
This really only ever happened on Tuesday mornings, when third period is my first class of the day. So again, he can’t blame me — I’m just a tired boy who loves his beauty sleep.
“The first year I taught, I had someone who warned me, saying that second semester seniors are going to drive you crazy because they get senioritis, and it’s frustrating to get them to do any work at all,” Recktenwald said.
Recktenwald acknowledges, however, that my performance in his class didn’t slip. I still excelled on his tests, and I always came ready to learn -- albeit there were some instances of tardiness that occurred.
AP Environmental Science, Period 5
To me, dirt is dirt. I understand there are tons of environmental implications behind every little thing in the environment. Environmental science is extremely important.
It also makes me extremely sleepy.
For some reason, even though I had no interest in Environmental Science in the slightest, I ended up in the class, for whatever reason.
The one thing that kept me going, however, was the AP Environmental Science teacher —Andrew Goldenkranz, the most knowledgeable source for everything environmental. He made my least favorite subject matter much more tolerable, and I thank him for putting up with me.
Apparently, my quality of work tanked second semester. Goldenkranz chuckled when I asked him if I got senioritis. It seeped through the good-student mask I put on everyday in class.
“You’re not at peak performance, but you’re one of those who has kept good enough [___] to stay positive,” Goldenkranz said. “I think your work has gotten sloppier. I think you were a little more thorough about finishing [before].”
I can’t disagree with him. I didn’t throw my best foot forward every single day this semester. Some periods were just too much. Hydraulic fracturing is only interesting for so much time. After staring at a diagram of the process for too long, my mind starts wandering.
But I made it. I made it for two full semesters in a class that was not my favorite. I wanted to take physics but I missed out. Instead, I’m walking away with practical knowledge that I can bring to the table when debating environmental issues with those who watch Fox News. I know the different layers of dirt, and I know that bacteria live in that dirt and perform nitrification. I know about eutrophication, and I know that it is a bad thing when ponds become covered in algae.
I learned APES, even though it wasn’t my favorite.
“In your case, [senioritis was] within tolerable bounds,” said Goldenkranz.
Even though senioritis hit, I powered through, and came out on top.
Or, I powered through enough, at least. Back in January, February and even March, I still wasn’t feeling the disease. But by May, senioritis had swung into full effect for me. What started as a small urge to have a little more fun exponentially grew into a parasitic disease sucking away my studiousness.
The biggest lesson I learned was that senioritis isn’t really anything other than a natural onset of laziness. Procrastination and laziness comes with the drowsy, lax nature of this semester. In my case, it wasn’t something I had to fight to stay afloat. My grades didn’t suddenly tank, and I ended up learning a lot.
Most importantly, if there’s ever an opportunity to go to the beach or do your homework, and it’s May, and you are a senior, then you should definitely go to the beach. That’s where you belong.