Fair   66.0F  |  Forecast »

Symptoms and Cures for Senioritis in High School Seniors

If your child is coming to the end of his high school years, be aware of senioritis. It's more real than you think. Find out what the symptoms are and how you can help.

Who doesn't remember being antsy to get out of high school once and for all?

Being a senior in high school is an exciting time for students, but being wrapped up in the countdown to graduation can sometimes turn into a serious illness: senioritis, what Urban Dictionary defines as, "A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors."

Urban Dictionary jokes symptoms include wearing sweatpants and athletic clothing in excess, but on a more serious note, also laziness, "lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude."

OK, so maybe it's not a medically documented ailment, but it is real, according to Debra Natke, a 12th grade English teacher at Royal Oak High School who has been teaching seniors for 30 years.

"There's no doubt," she says. "I think that the senior year has gotten a bad rap that you shut down in a senior year."

Parenting Teens on About.com says parents typically begin to notice signs of senioritis around midyear the senior year – or possibly sooner. Signs include poor grades and incomplete assignments, cutting class and increased absences, and sometimes actions as drastic as using alcohol or drugs, the site reports. Parents may also notice their child being lazy, just as the Urban Dictionary definition notes, having a hard time getting out of bed for school, or wanting to spend all their time with friends.

Unfortunately, just because students are graduating and may already have their post-secondary futures planned doesn't mean they should blow off their last year of school.

With her students at Royal Oak High School, Natke makes sure in the classroom she's adding fun assignments and humor to keep the kids motivated, but also letting them know, "this is not the time to shut down" and, "we're in this together," she says.

While Natke says she has good students who stay pretty motivated, she does make sure she's communicating with her students' parents weekly and letting them know if there has been a drop off in grades. She suggests parents check their student's grades themselves, too, and make an effort to stay in touch with their senior's teachers.

For her students who are a little less motivated? "I always try to see if I can motivate them by saying, 'You know we don't want to do this in summer school – how can I make this work for you?'"

Natke, at least in her experience, says she's seeing fewer cases of senioritis.

"Every year it gets better because I think the message is out there now, you know, wait until you've got that final grade and then have fun," she says.

Many of her students have plans for college or are going into the military after graduation, and so that definitely helps. Having an post-graduation goal or plan is "the key," she stresses.

"The kids that know where they're going (and) know what they're going to be doing, they're monitoring their own grades," she says. The fact that some colleges want to see grade updates per semester or request last semester grades definitely motivates, she adds.

"Help for Parents of Teens with Senioritis" on Parenting Teens at About.com suggests parents talk with their teen about what they're experiencing if they notice signs of senioritis, and ask them what can be done to overcome it. Most importantly, aside from checking on your teen, is to not punish them by taking away "senior privileges" like prom, the article notes.

Parents play a big role in keeping their teen motivated, as does the teacher. "It's the three of us – we've all got a piece of this pie," Natke says.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Looking for an easy, compact way to tote those summer necessities? You're in luck! This simple sewing project makes carting your fabric accessories a breeze.

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Want a few simple, fun sewing ideas for the kids, projects to brighten up their rooms or maybe just tips for DIY tinkering? These authors have you covered.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement