By Katlyn Wyatt

A majority of the second-semester seniors may notice that they have begun to suffer from an informal condition known as “senioritis”. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, senioritis is an “ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades”; or as the Urban Dictionary calls it, the “crippling disease of seniors.” The symptoms of such disease consist of: skipping class, laziness, lack of studying, and an overall unconcerned attitude. Countless second-semester seniors have fallen victim to this academic dilemma, especially as the sun begins to shine and graduation rapidly approaches. Professors are not ignorant to such an epidemic either, as they acknowledge and accept that seniors will lose academic effort in the spring, as they usually do, and settle at least for a passing grade before graduation. I mean, why not? Academic standings are already printed and posted, meaning the second-semester grades do not alter your grade point average, at least in terms of where you stand for graduation. In addition, many seniors at this point in the semester have been accepted into a graduate program, college or have a job lined up, leaving seniors to feel as though they have “merited” time for nonacademic recreations and lack of academic engagement.

The problem with this disease is that it spreads; seniors encourage other seniors to participate in this culturally accepted phenomena. Together seniors go out, skip class, and leave campus as it is their last few months together in college before venturing into the real world. However, the difficulty lies in that to some students, second semester grades do matter. These students are then found to be in a complex situation of having to care, but wanting to unite with senior classmates in the overwhelmingly accepted senior slump. Thus I stress, that if one would like to participate and fall into the lull of senioritis then do so without distressing other peers to follow your footsteps, as for although others may want to join the epidemic, they simply cannot.

As an Applied Psychology major, I, along with many other peers, plan to further my education by attending graduate school after my graduation from Bryant. Depending on the program of study, the school may require a post-graduation interview as well as proof of final academic records. With the demand of such records, it is implied that they do not expect to see changes in academic performance from the previous semesters. Essentially indicating, that your last semester grades denote the type of student you are. Subsequently, the pressure of making sure your academic records do not fall short of your previous grades is a great deal, but that stress only becomes heightened when being surrounded with peers who are “living it up” and have ceased caring about work, pressuring you to do the same. This puts one in a difficult position, feeling as though they must choose between academics and senior year memories.

Nevertheless, senior year is an exciting time that should be filled with celebration, excitement, and memories. With this in mind, it is not hard to understand why seniors fall into the spring affliction. Along with the fun, it is important to recognize that senioritis may be acceptable for some students and while simply not being an option for others. More so, if your senior transcripts do matter, you must recognize that collapsing before the finish line can affect you long term, so do not let a short term moment or pressure from peers determine and redefine all you have worked for the past four years; balance is key.