Take the -itis out of senior year


-itis (suffix) a disease characterized by inflammation.

As in appendicitis, bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, gastritis, or meningitis.

The -itis on the mind of every teacher and twelfth grader at this time of year: senioritis. This so-called disease leaves students confined to their beds, forgetful, at least when it comes to homework, and is characterized by a lack of motivation and increase in unexcused absences. It has only one known cure: graduation.

For all seniors who clicked submit on their last Common App box in January, now is when the inflammation of stress abates. Days once cherished now hold the lethargy of routine, a lull of classes and sports and clubs that add up to moments separating seniors from their goal. The goal being graduation, summer, college, gap year, or just adult life. For those like me who await April acceptances or rejections, the clock can’t tick fast enough.

Senioritis seems logical, or at least inevitable. We are exhausted after four years of pressure, of pulling all-nighters to perfect the wording on an essay and from the last push to submit college applications. We need a break, a downbeat before continuing on to a new era of life.

Going into second semester, students of every grade face the decision of how to spend their time. They debate whether to take up a spring sport, whether to drop the science class they despise, and whether to spread their wings at the Bird Calling Contest. Seniors face similar choices, but do so with finality. In May, we will step onto Witter Field and never be Piedmont High School students again.

With each day being a “last,” the last ski week, the last fire drill, the last play, the last test, the last Tuesday, then just the last day, period; now is the time to think about how we want to live our lasts.

A suggestion: remember why you choose your path freshman year. Why you loved your sport. Why you founded your club. Why you volunteer, or why you picked your lunch spot. Remember why you are where you are, outside of “do it for the resume.” With the resume submitted, do it because in a couple months the time will have passed.

I’ve spent the last two months lamenting my responsibilities, because with the stress of the future looming, every small stressor is exacerbated. I understand the phenomenon of a first period class feeling like an insurmountable challenge when the grade on a final transcript could hardly matter at this stage of the game. Still, with less than 100 days left in senior year, I aim to use my time to say goodbye to the things I love about Piedmont High School.