Finding The Motivation To Fight Senioritis

As the weather gets nicer and end of the school year gets closer, seniors across America begin to feel the effects of senioritis. Senioritis is a nationwide ‘epidemic’ if you will that is used to describe the significant drop in work rate amongst high school seniors during their final months of school.

Little do students know, however, that it’s not just first term grades that matter during your senior year. As a matter of fact, even after colleges accept you, they look at your second, third and fourth term grades, and in some cases might take away your acceptance or merit scholarship awards if your grades drop off significantly. So as a senior it is important to continue to try hard in all of your classes and to keep your grades up, because you don’t want to find out come May that you can no longer go to a school that you were accepted into in January.

According to the American Federation of Teachers, more than 40% of high school students don’t believe that their effort in high school applies to their effort in college. Many students believe that they can wait until college to put forth effort academically, but in reality this makes them far more likely to have bad effort in college as well.

Westwood High School math teacher, Eavan Feroli, feels very strongly that senioritis is not a real thing but merely an excuse that seniors use to stop working in school. “I think it’s totally fine to give an excuse why you’re not working. It’s totally fine to say I’m not working because I’m choosing not to work. I just think putting a name on it [senioritis] makes it seem like a condition, and it’s not a condition. It’s just you choosing not to work,” said Feroli while she sat in math seminar tutoring a senior in need of math help.

Feroli is a dedicated mother and passionate math teacher who makes it known to all of her students that she expects hard work and always trying your best right through the last day of school.

Westwood High senior Trevor Fahey, a student in one of Feroli’s calculus classes is someone who has been affected by senioritis for quite some time, “She [Feroli] definitely pushes me harder than any other teacher I have to work hard, even though she knows that I just do not want to do work. I’d say I’ve probably had senioritis since sophomore year so….” smirked Fahey while lounging in the cafeteria during his economics class.

Even with students like Trevor Fahey in her class, Feroli still makes it clear that keeping up the effort is key, even if you take a few off days here and there the classes you are taking now are still important and will help you when you are in college next year.

“One of the things I value in a person the most is their ability to try their best, and it’s a mark of respect to the teacher of whatever class you’re in to keep trying till the end,” Feroli passionately said, her motherly concern very apparent.

Senior Evan Traister, also a student of Feroli’s, had some kind words to say about her, but not about his own work ethic: “Seeing Mrs. Feroli come into class and be so passionate about her teaching and everything she does definitely reflects onto the class, and she sets a good example for good work ethic, even if I don’t follow it,” said Traister, kicking his flip-flops onto the cafeteria table.

While Traister is able to notice and appreciate the work ethic that Feroli emulates, it would be much better for him to actually be able to follow it and translate it into his own work ethic. It is important for students like Evan Traister and Trevor Fahey to follow the lead of teachers like Feroli in all of their classes.

While it is clear that seniors across the nation are going to continue to use senioritis as an excuse to slack off during their senior year, it isn’t the best option. However with the aide of teachers like Feroli, perhaps some seniors will find the motivation they need to continue trying right through that last day.

Andrew Dunn

Andrew Dunn is a senior at Westwood High School

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