The cure for senioritis
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As the last batch of college acceptances float in, the annual epidemic known only as “senioritis” begins to flare up. Classes are ditched, assignments are “forgotten” and the simmering tension between teachers and students that has always existed, reaches a roaring boil. But is this illness really as bad as teachers and counselors make it out to be?
Ever since sixth grade, the so called “race to nowhere” has been in full bloom. Students are pressured to take on extra-curriculars and spend hours studying for rigorous exams. Lunches and whatever other little free time students have to themselves are quickly filled up with club participation, earning community service hours or stressing out on what they got on their last English essay.
The tirade goes on and on. Nearly the whole nation is well aware of how bad the situation has become. Between the documentaries and editorials, the full and sometimes dark truth about how bad college admissions is has been made abundantly clear.
So now that the race is finally over and students have the opportunity to try and salvage a lost childhood, why do teachers insist on continuing to slam students with assignments and tests?
The amount of development in adolescence is huge, both emotionally and physically. However, since being admitted to college is more important than growing as a person, this little chunk of many teenager’s lives was glossed over.
Students have only a few more months before they are off on their own in the real world. Many will have to find summer jobs before being sucked back into the vortex that is school. So they have to cram years of childhood into just a few short months, and as a result school gets bumped to the bottom of their priority list.
This is in no way an endorsement for ditching class. Rather, this is an endorsement for a lessening of the work load. While it would be naïve of me to ask AP teachers to do such a thing right before AP tests, I would hope that come May the work overload would come to a halt. And as for the classes not on an AP test deadline, please remember that if you are cramming in lesson plans and piling on homework, you’re probably in all sincerity doing more harm than good.
And if the argument that students need to make up for lost time so that they can figure out who they are and what they want to do with themselves doesn’t sway you, then think of a lessening of the work load as a reward: a reward for students who were so dedicated to making a future for themselves that they passed up on one of the most important stages in human development.
The bottom line is that senioritis is curable. Provided students and teachers are willing to compromise.