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Diagnosis: Senioritis

Senioritis: a disease that can only be cured by graduation.

The symptoms vary from lethargy, coming to school in PJ’s, not studying anymore, having repeated absences, and being dismissive.

Ever year, senior year proves to be the most difficult for students in terms of attendance, grades and procrastination, according to Senior Counselor Bernice Pearson.

While it’s always a stress to pass classes, senior year requires students to do well in their current classes, as well as make up for previous years difficulties, such as failed or poorly done courses. One failed core class could be the end of a diploma.

“At certain times I’ll just say I’ll do my work the next day or maybe I can just study really hard five minutes before the test,” said Senior Adameryse Amaya.

Not only do students have to stay on track to graduate, especially in their last year, but they also have to be consistent with their attendance, which is a struggle for many.

According to Attendance Clerk Christina Hunter 91 percent of seniors at Spring Valley have missed school at least once this year, having the highest absences among all grade levels. In comparison, 78 percent of freshmen have missed school at least once this year.

“I haven’t been to a full week 
of school since second semester started,” said Senior Elizabeth Gomez, “Sleep is life.”

Many seniors who do attend school, however, only do so because they are forced to. Seniors said their parents pushing them to attend has kept them on track.

“I don’t miss school because my mom would literally kill me,” said Senior Celina Larson. “She has the attendance notifications on her phone – she’s crazy.”

These absences don’t go without consequences: with many absences grades start to go down.

“I used to have all A’s and B’s, and now they’ve become B’s and C’s,” said Larson.

Many seniors also have jobs after school, which plays a role in the excess amount of absences in a senior’s school year. An after school job for seniors takes up the majority of study and homework time that seniors have.

¨Don’t work if you can’t handle the load,¨ said Senior Jaime Barrera, who works at Yogurtland. ¨My grades have gone down a little bit because of the hours I have to work.¨

Senior year is the most expensive school year for students. For those who want to be involved, there’s prom, grad night, and many senior trips for clubs and classes. These trips can cost upwards of $1,000 when considering airfare, hotels and conference fees.

¨There’s a lot of giving up,¨ said Larson, who went to the AVID trip to Washington, DC. ¨There are so many things we have to choose from. Like I had to give up a yearbook to be able to go to grad night.¨

With these expenses, seniors decide to join the workforce more often.

When students are accepted into a university, their motivation also plummets since many believe they have accomplished their goals.

“We are just so close to the finish line but yet the school and teachers are still giving us so many hoops to jump through,” said Larson.

Despite the difficulties of getting through the year, teachers believe there is a way to combat senioritis, and that students should not let it become an excuse.

“I think its mostly mind over matter with seniors. They start to say it and then they start to believe it,” said Senior English teacher Amy Devaul. “You’ve got to start thinking long term. It’s really easy to miss school or do whatever and suddenly you find yourself June 10 and you’re not graduating. I think a lot of kids just use it as an excuse…And the more they say it the more they believe it. The way to combat it is you have to keep your eye on the prize. That’s it. It’s a time in your life when you can’t just give in. You have to head down and power through.”

Senior counselor Bernice Pearson agreed and believes that students are getting ahead of themselves.

“The problem is that seniors have worked  so hard throughout all their years in high school, and come second semester of senior year, students celebrate too early,” said Senior counselor Berenice Pearson, “They need to stay focused so they can end the school year on a high note, and then celebrate all of their successes.”

With two months left of school,

many students are showing worse symptoms than ever. Many, realize their mistakes but are unsure of how to get through the final months.

¨I never thought I´d be struck by it,” said senior Jasmin Avagyan. “There’s too much work and extracurricular activities. I still do what I need to do, but I feel like it’s a bit too much.”

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