Type the word “senioritis” in to Twitter’s search box and you’ll see a constant feed of tweets like this:
- hi. my name is anna. and i have senioritis.
- Senioritis is real.
- Dear teacher; If I have my head down I am busy not giving a shit. Please do not disturb. Sincerely; lazy ass honor student. #Senioritis
Why did I engage on this exercise, you ask? It was for an assignment, of course. I was tasked with writing about senioritis from a health perspective for the Washington Post.
I talked to independent advisors who help high school students apply to college, I talked to educational think-tank types, and I talked to a scientist who investigated whether there’s a link between truancy and college aspirations. (I’ll bet you can guess what he found.)
I thought back to my own experience as a high school senior. (My first and only F grade!) I went to Twitter for a snapshot of what today’s seniors are saying. I felt like I was listening in on furtive under-the-desk tweets from dozens of high school classrooms. The stream is nonstop:
- I have senioritis…badly. I don’t want to do anything.
- You know you’re[sic] senioritis is getting out of hand when you’re too lazy to even copy homework.
- I bring nothing but my phone, charger, and headphones to school. #Senioritis
I read and laughed and groaned. I wrestled with the shock that all this conversation is happening real time.
There was the insightful:
- Nostalgia has replaced my senioritis today
There was the clever:
- Senioritis should b[sic] considered a major illness and therefore be allowed to go home
And there was the prophetic:
- Apparently senioritis never goes away after your senior year.. #wanttobedonewithschool
I soon realized I was commiserating with many of the tweets. Relating to their sentiments as my adult writer self, not just my high school senior self:
- I have no motivation left. None. #senioritis
- I was going to work on my homework in class but then I decided to play ruzzle instead #senioritis
- I really need to stop waiting until 2 hrs before my assignments are due to start doing my work… #Senioritis
Ugh. And I mean, ugh. That made me feel like I haven’t grown up at all or developed any kind of work ethic, like I’m not truly honoring my commitments or fully appreciating this career of my choosing. It’s one thing to be bored to tears by school work, so often uninspired. But what about my supposed passion?
Maybe it’s just the messy side of creative work or the reality check that comes with less-inspired work. I can’t think of a writer who doesn’t deal with low motivation and procrastination on a regular basis. I would like to argue that I have matured since senior year. At least I have a larger box of tools to break out of, um, what should I call it — writeritis?
No worries. @AshleyLynne2013 is here to help me sort it out:
- Life’s a lot easier when you just don’t care, but sometimes you really need to care to get shit done. #senioritis
Sometimes you have to remind yourself to care. Look at what you’ve got and where you’ve gotten to — and honor that with effort. Amen to that, AshleyLynne.