The disease is here, and it’s spreading. Known as ‘senioritis’, this affliction elicits symptoms of a declining motivation towards anything academic, and a general lack of patience and maturity. Students in their final year of school are highly susceptible to senioritis, which is most contagious during the later stages of the year.

I caught senioritis around the beginning of Term 3. I only recently found out that what I and the majority of my year group at school had been experiencing, had a name. As the last year of school nears its end, the scent of freedom runs freely in the air, teasing the noses of the Year 13’s desperate for freedom. The possibility of ‘Next Year’ is the top of everyone’s minds, which teem with impatience, nervousness, and excitement. To me – and others, I assume – finishing an internal or beginning study for exams does not seem important when compared to planning out applications and financial matters for next year. Why would I want to study when I could fantasise about the idea of freedom coming in only a few months?

In my opinion, the most repelling attribute of high school is its monotonous repetition. Each day is relatively identical, and it’s been like that for ¾ of a decade. There’s so much possibility in the world but being in school restricted by age cuts you off from a lot of it. That is what makes the last stretch, the last 100 metres of the race so unbearable to endure. Maybe you’re Year 12, of Year 9, and you think you have senioritis. I assure you, the desire to leave in those years compares nothing to the enormity of this desire in Year 13. Why, you ask? Because in no year but the thirteenth does the concept of freedom seem attainable. In the years prior, the idea of ‘Leaving School’ is a hazy myth that feels like it won’t ever come into actuality. Now, it’s here. Don’t forget that one day soon, you’ll be leaving. Physically, blissfully walking out of high school with no obligation to return. Grateful for your education, but ready for the next adventure.

Now you understand what senioritis is, let me tell you how you might be able to overcome it and see your results flourish. Understand that none of this is proven – I will be following this advice along with you, so I hope it is effective!

  • Don’t let yourself give up. Say you did give up. Barely passed your exams. Technically ‘got through’. Now, imagine yourself 5 years from graduation – you would have wished you had tried harder. My point is: if you’re doing something, you might as well put in some effort. With education, you reap what you sow – more effort equals better results. Remember that when it’s time to study.
  • Don’t get into a bad habit now. Think ahead to next year. If you’re going to university, you’re still going to have to do work. Assessments. Revision. Exams. Why are you trying to escape it now? You might as well try to sustain advantageous habits.
  • Sustain a school-life balance. Make plans for next year, but don’t let them consume you until school is over. Have fun, but not so much that your academic obligation is discarded.
  • Go out on a high note – don’t be known as the student who gave up at the end. Is there anything worse than being a quitter?

Sarah is a Year 13 student who loves writing and the subject of English. She intends on one day becoming an Editor or a Technical Writer.

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