The Senioritis Pandemic Hits OHS


Ella Fellman

Students and staff alike have mentioned the struggles of a senior slide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected daily life in school, but for a part of the Orono Schools’ population, this is nothing new.

“With COVID, it kind of made all of my schooling just change completely. I feel like before COVID I would never have a late assignment ever. Then all of a sudden, the teachers were counting less on you and it pushed me to stop doing the work,” senior Claire Hyrkas said.

With the 2021-22 school year coming to a close, a grade-dropping problem is rearing its ugly head. This problem is called “senioritis” or better known as a senior slide. The article “A Cross-Age Antidote For Senioritis”, goes into detail on a study about how to combat a senior slide and when it usually begins to occur.

“More often than not, they return from the holiday weekend with senioritis. Discussing future plans suddenly becomes more important than writing,” author of A cross-age antidote for senioritis, Jenifer Conrad said.

According to an article in the Journal of College Admission titled Avoiding Senioritis, senioritis is very difficult to get rid of, but extremely easy to catch. Allowing a senior slide may affect your future plans. Every year poor academics cause colleges to change scholarships, put students on academic probation, and even take back their offers.

The senior slide is typically when a senior in high school begins to slack off. This can consist of not studying, not turning in homework, attendance dropping, and even failing classes.

“A lot of students are extrinsically motivated, meaning motivated by grades, college acceptance, GPA, they’re going to lose that extrinsic motivation once they’ve been accepted to their colleges,” AP Psychology teacher Sara Ibs said.

Attendance dropping leads to assignments being late or just simply not understanding the concept that has been taught in the class.

“I have noticed that I haven’t been at school as much, so my timeliness with assignments has gone down,” senior Kailey Niccum said.

Students start to care less and less about their academics and more about the fact that they are leaving high school.

“Seniors let down their guard a little because they’ve been accepted or because they figured their plans out and they want to be with friends and saving those last moments,” OHS counselor Kathryn Haggenson said.

Although it may be easy to just let go once a student has been accepted to a college, it is crucial to keep working hard. Kelly Puente, a writer for the long beach post. Wrote an article about ways that schools can better prepare students for the rigorous college agenda. About seventy five percent of freshmen in college need to have at least four years of math, science, and english. It would be most beneficial to continue using all four years of high school to complete these classes.

Do not fear, there are ways to stop a senior slide before it starts.

“Continuing to have a routine is really important. Balance is key, you don’t have to be all school all the time but you also can’t be all social or all sports all the time. Find that balance and maintain it,” Haagenson said.

Giving up and just having an easy senior year has proven to not be the correct way to go. Colleges can withdraw their offers if a final transcript is not to their liking. High school students are not as doomed as this may sound. From an article titled Stem Focused High School And University Partnership: Alternative Solution For Senioritis Issue And Creating Students’ Stem Curiosity by Matthew Davis. Taking advanced placement classes or even taking classes at a college can help you get a head start at college.

Senior year is a fun and exciting time but it also comes with a lot of responsibility and thoughts about the future.

“As you get closer to the end of your senior year, you start to think about leaving high school, you start to think about college and sometimes anxiety creeps in. A coping mechanism that normally comes out is people regress, meaning they revert back to a more middle school-like behavior,” Ibs said.

Although students may want to have an easy end to their high school years this is not a prime option.

“Colleges do ask for final transcripts. If they notice a significant dip in grades, they can change their decision. Also if you get out of those habits that high school employs, it’s just going to be that much harder to then leap to the next level of rigor that college is going to bring,” Haagenson said.

As the school year is coming to an end make sure to check yourself to make sure you aren’t allowing yourself to slip. This goes for incoming seniors as well.