A case of Junioritis


Nearly everyone who has been through high school has heard of the dreaded senioritis; many have even experienced it themselves. In fact, the term even has a definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades”. Though senioritis is certainly not the most desirable condition, it generally has a positive prognosis, with symptoms improving with the arrival of a diploma. There is, however, another affliction that is much, much worse: junioritis.

My first experience of junioritis came on the 12 of March, 2022, at approximately 12:00 p.m., while taking the SAT in an English classroom in Fitchburg High School. I was about 20 questions into the second math section of the test, when all of a sudden, instead of calculating the value of x, I unintentionally began calculating the distance to the nearest Chick-Fil-A (Unfortunately, a 40 minute drive from where I was sitting). Desperate for both a chicken sandwich and an answer to the problem, I looked out the window, hoping the view of the parking lot would give me some insight. Though this short break didn’t help me solve the rational equation that lay on the page, it did give me time to realize something: junior year stinks!

Unlike the infamous senioritis, the definition of junioritis cannot be found in any accredited wordbook (though Urban Dictionary does have some interpretations, albeit quite indecent). Junioritis, however, can be found in testing rooms and precalculus classes across the country, where the nation’s 16 and 17-year-olds work, trying to finish last night’s homework, build their resume, or gain a few extra points on the SAT. For many of us, junior year of high school is not a great time, with our college applications looming ahead, and our schedules overloaded with AP’s. Unfortunately, though, with the growing pressure to get into a name-brand college, and secure our futures before we can drive, this doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon.

Luckily, however, junioritis can only last so long, and should go away with the conclusion of the eleventh grade. Maybe, though, we could do more to treat it.