It’s your last year of high school. You’re only a few weeks away from graduating, yet you can’t quite find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Is this normal?
There’s no denying that students begin to lose motivation near the end of high school. After running through the loop for years, most of us are ready to be done with it. I find myself saying, “I just want to be done,” more than anything else. I believe the term generally thrown around is “senioritis.”
Emotions are all over the place. Some of us want to be finished as soon as possible, some want to cherish every last second, and others have a bittersweet feeling towards graduating. With the blink of an eye, adulthood is right around the corner. Seniors are face to face with the idea of being on their own. It hits hard: mom and dad won’t always be there to take care of it for us anymore.
But, maybe, for this year’s seniors, there’s something more than just “a case of senioritis” going on.
The pandemic undoubtedly contributed to the decline in motivation for the class of 2022. If you have walked the hallways of any school this year, you’d know that the feeling resonates with all students post COVID. However, for seniors, the feeling has taken over and might even surpass senior end of year normalities.
I’m stuck. Stuck between wanting the year to be over, but also still feeling like that fifteen year old sophomore who was just excited for an extended spring break. She didn’t know that COVID was about to sweep away the rest of that year and her entire junior year. This year just feels displaced after the past two; and I’m not alone in that feeling.
It’s overwhelming and intimidating. Sometimes I find myself even feeling like I don’t want high school to end. Is it so bad to want to stay for just a little longer? So then, why would I say I want to stay in high school after admitting that I struggle to get out of bed in the morning? It has been confusing.
I haven’t even brought up mental health, but here we are. Stress is real, and not just for adults.
People take teen depression lightly because teenagers are difficult, and tend to be over-dramatic. But it’s as if adults forget that stress is real no matter the age. From staying on top of assignments, chores at home, and in some cases taking on a job, teen stress is real.
With the lack of motivation, and sometimes even struggling with simple tasks like cleaning your room or eating meals, I start to wonder: is this just senioritis? Is this stress? Or, for some of us, is this depression?
And then of course, the college expectations. We have spent the past few years hearing all about college, but waving it off with “I have time.” But now we don’t have time. We have to decide which college to go to, what to study, how to afford it, apply for loans and grants, and prepare for a huge change of scenery. Wait. Do I even want to go to college?
Again, the stress is real.
Seniors, let’s make it clear: Senioritis and senior depression are real. COVID did a number on all of us. And, college is for some and not others. But none of us are alone, so for now, let’s try to focus on the countdown. Today marks 36 school days left before graduation; WE can do this.