Senioritis: Signs and Symptoms of High School Senioritis

How to Identify Senioritis and Its Signs and Symptoms

Senioritis can be a serious problem.
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Senioritis, according to the Urban Dictionary, strikes during a teen's senior year of high school. It zaps them of motivation to do any of their work.

While senioritis isn't a disease, it is a phenomena that happens when seniors look back over their high school life and declare they're done. They no longer want to do any of their work and many of them, don't even want to go to school.

Senioritis gives teens the false belief that they'll graduate even if they don't do their work.

So rather than worry about their grades, they spend their time hanging out with friends.

Their relaxed attitude can affect their acceptance to college. To their surprise, some seniors who have already been accepted into higher education lose their opportunity to attend because of failing grades during their last semester of high school.

Other seniors, engage in risk-taking behavior. They skip school to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Or, they begin driving recklessly. They assume they're invincible and immortal. 

Parents may notice the signs of senioritis about midway through a teen's senior year, but the warning signs may show up sooner. A sophomore with senior friends, for example, may jump on the bandwagon long before his high school career comes to a close. 

Signs of High School Senioritis

  • Poor grades
  • Incomplete assignments
  • Misses curfew repeatedlys
  • Cuts classes often
  • Increased absences from school
  • Concern from teachers and school administrators
  • Experiments with alcohol or drugs

Symptoms of High School Senioritis

What to Do If Your Teen Has Senioritis

Relaxing enough to enjoy their last year of high school doesn't have to be a bad thing.

But unfortunately, some teens lose all their motivation and the results are devastating to their future.

Keep a close eye on your teen's behavior throughout his senior year. If you start noticing signs that he's giving up, get involved. Make it clear that his behavior could have serious consequences.

Talk about the importance of finishing high school strong. Discuss his attendance record and final grades and the fact that colleges are likely to review his final transcripts. 

Even if your teen isn't planning to go to college now, remind him that he may want to go at a later date. Additionally, talk about how a future employer may request copies of his transcripts as well.

Make some of your teen's privileges contingent on his hard work. If he wants to use the car on Saturday night, make sure he's got his work done first. Just like a future job will motivate him with a paycheck, use incentives that will keep him motivated to keep doing his school work.

Seek Professional Help

Occasionally, senioritis may be a sign of a more serious problem. A teen who is really anxious about the future, for example, may stop doing her work. Or, a teen who is sad about high school ending, may grow depressed.


If you are concerned about your teen's mental health or risky behavior, talk to your pediatrician. Your teen may benefit from therapy to help support her as she makes the transition into adulthood.

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