If you’re the parent of a high school senior then your kid has probably already been diagnosed with it. Our otherwise dedicated, motivated, tenacious children who worked so incredibly hard to get where they are today are transformed right before our very eyes.
They’re on the homestretch, the can actually see the finish line and yet, when we least expect it, they slow to a snail’s pace, completely lose their focus and act as if they don’t have a care in the world. It’s almost as if they’re in a heated competition with their friends, who by the way are fighting the same battle, to see who can care the least… about everything.
As the parent of two kids who crawled out of the last half of their senior year with the motivation of a sloth, I’m here to tell you, this is serious stuff.
According to the Urban Dictionary senioritis is a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, and an over-excessive wearing of sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. It also includes a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude.
The only known cure is a phenomenon known as GRADUATION.
But, for those of us who have actually lived through it, we know… when your kid gets it bad, senioritis is much more than that.
After a very long, stressful and arduous three-year academic stretch in high school, kids inflicted with senioritis pretty much “check out.” They oftentimes lose their ability to think, study, stay awake, dress themselves and generally perform any routine task they’ve known how to do since they were three. They’ve been known to become totally apathetic, cynical and say the words, “I’m SO done,” four, sometimes five times a day.
It’s also important to note that the condition is highly contagious and degenerative. Once one gets it, they ALL start dropping like flies and the closer they get to graduation, the worse the symptoms become. In fact, some kids lose every ounce of common sense the last 30 days of school.
But, don’t worry. Thankfully, it all comes back (well, most of it anyway), after graduation.
If you’re the parent of a senior, beware. After polling a group of past seniors, here are 50 actual dumb things kids have done their senior year of high school as a result of the dreaded senioritis.
- Fail gym class… Seriously??
- Laugh uncontrollably when the teacher hands them back the chemistry test they just failed miserably.
- Wear sunglasses to class in hopes of being totally invisible to the teacher, and everyone else for that matter.
- Wear the same sweatshirt nine days in a row… and it’s not even theirs.
- Start crying (the girls, anyway), because they miss their friends already… and it’s only March.
- Skip class four days in a row because they’re super tired… of school, their teachers, learning, and life.
- Totally blow off math class so they can plan their senior bucket list with their friends.
- Forget that their college acceptance letter is predicated on their second-semester transcript. Umm… really?
- Hit the snooze button six times and then when they finally do wake up decide to watch Netflix for two hours. Why? Because high school is SO lame.
- Park in the “No Parking” area at school because they’ve tried to find a parking space for the past three years and they’re “like totally sick of it.”
- High-five the principal when they pass her in the hall screaming, “Yeah baby… I’m outta here!”
- Retire their backpack for good and just carry around a piece of paper in their pocket and a pencil… with no lead.
- Leave school at 10 o’clock in the morning because they just can’t take it anymore.
- Throw all integrity out the window and cheat on every possible assignment and test because they really don’t care anymore and, let’s face it, by this time they’ve mastered the art of not getting caught.
- Steal the teacher’s test when she isn’t looking, take a picture of it and text it to everyone they know.
- Wear their pajamas and slippers to school because they’re way too lazy to get dressed and who cares about the dress code anyway?
- Bring their pillow and blanket to class and hope the teacher doesn’t notice when they take a nap.
- Paint their fingernails in class.
- Think GPA is really an acronym for “Greatest Paper Airplanes,” which is what they spend most of their time doing in AP Art History.
- Hold a poker tournament during class. Hmm… and the teacher didn’t pick up on that?
- Hold an ongoing prank war between the junior and senior class that involves an outrageous amount of toilet paper, shaving cream, and forks. Don’t even ask.
- Bring their hoverboard to school because they’re too lazy to walk. Quite clever, actually.
- Tell the teacher who has been bugging them all year what they really think.
- Spend the entire time in class looking up the latest sports scores and then, totally forgetting where they are, screaming at the top of their lungs, “Oh Yeah! They crushed ’em!”
- Bring in a universal remote so they can control the teacher’s television and really confuse the heck out of her. This kid deserves an “A” for creativity!
- Show up for a test without anything to write with and when the teacher asks why they’re not prepared, they respond by saying, “Ummm…I brought gum, does that count?”
- Have a ceremonial bonfire and burn the books they’re supposed to return to the library.
- Party before a football game knowing full well the entire faculty will be there. And, of course, they got caught.
- Realize they have a paper due tomorrow that they haven’t even started so, instead of working on it, they decide to just go to bed because they might be able to buy that kid’s paper who’s always in the library.
- Skip an entire week of school because THEY. DON’T. CARE.
- Hang out with their friends in their car during the classes they don’t feel like going to.
- Find any excuse to go on a college tour during school hours, even if it’s a college they couldn’t care less about.
- Adopt the thinking that GPA is just an overrated system for determining a student’s intelligence designed for parents and kids with weak egos.
- Try to corrupt the class valedictorian… just for fun. What? Really?
- Act like freshmen so they forget they’re seniors.
- Throw caution to the wind, somehow secure two tickets to the presidential inauguration and head to Washington, D.C. without telling anyone. Permission? Who needs permission?
- Answer every question you ask them about school and homework with, “Moooommm, I’m a senior, it doesn’t maaattteeerrr!”
- Lose the distinction between rough draft and final draft and just go with the “no draft” version.
- Start planning for senior ditch day the first day of school.
- Ask the teacher if they can use the bathroom and then spend the next 45 minutes texting their friend who’s in another bathroom down the hall.
- Stoop to bribery by bringing a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ from Starbucks to their AP World History teacher in hopes that she might cut them some slack because they didn’t do the assignment… or really, any assignment for that matter.
- Spend 14 hours planning a wildly creative “promposal” to ask their girlfriend to prom and then spend a whole 14 minutes studying for their AP exam.
- Remind themselves no less than six times a day that none of this really matters… they’re onto much bigger and better things.
- Bring in a very large bag of potato chips and a Red Bull to first period and eat their “breakfast” while the teacher is lecturing. Was the teach hard of hearing?
- Slip out of AP Computer Science and head to Taco Bell for a quick snack – 4 soft beef tacos, a burrito, chips and cheese and nachos supreme to go, please.
- Drag race in the high school parking lot. Well… that’s a little scary.
- Spend the entire time in class braiding their friend’s hair and whispering to each other about the new episode of Game of Thrones.
- When the teacher says, “Only highlight the important parts,” they think to themselves, “Highlight? I don’t have one of those… I ditched my highlighter the second day of school.”
- Spend the better part of their day thinking of creative ways how not to fail AP Stat, some of which involves bribery, groveling and possibly hacking. Your mom would be so proud…
- Hire the salutatorian to do their final term paper because, well, they need the rest and, let’s face it, kids like that get off on that kind of stuff.
If your kid is driving you absolutely nuts these last few months of school, hopefully, you now have the comfort of knowing that you’re definitely not alone. But, let’s put this in perspective… senioritis isn’t SUCH a bad thing (unless, of course, it impacts your child’s future). It shows they’re ready to move on to the next phase of their life, that they’ve outgrown their environment and they’re ready to break free and fly. It’s a natural progression for most kids and maybe, just maybe, a (small) rite of passage after working so hard for so many years. Truthfully, (just between you and me), I’m somewhat proud that my kids knew enough to slow down and enjoy the view, their friends and life before they jumped into the real challenging years of college.
So, take it from all the parents who survived this “season” with our kids. Take it in stride, don’t forget to laugh and give your kids a huge hug… you may not realize it now, but you’re going to miss these days!