Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Imagine state and federal taxes on the

Imagine this, you just won the lottery for six-million-dollars! You hate your nine-to-five job at the local fast food joint, so you decide to quit. You are not thinking about the future, especially about how much money you will actually receive after the state and federal taxes on the lottery ticket. A lot of High-school students suffer from this way of thinking in which getting into college is similar to winning the lottery. They feel like keeping their grades up in the present isn’t important since they have a guaranteed future which is similar to not worrying about job security having won a lottery ticket. This theory is known as “Senioritis”. Oxford Dictionary terms Senioritis as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” (Oxford). Senioritis is correlated to procrastination because it similarly portrays a lack in motivation and work ethic. Can it be because we as individuals are lazy and need a viable excuse to get by, or is it more closely related to our genetic makeup to be prone to working less hard? Senioritis is a growing phenomenon that affects almost every individual in their lifetime. Researches and realists agree on the idea of senioritis being tied to levels of procrastination, but also have conflicting ideas deciding whether it is genetic or poor work ethic.Coincidentally, I believe everybody is affected by Senioritis because we all get feelings of incompetence, or unmotivated at times. Also, senioritis can be the sharp decline of motivation in a student’s studies in high-school, undergraduate college, and graduate college. However, the majority of cases are more commonly seen in High-school. According to a survey conducted by the Omniscient on NorthWood High School, seventy-eight percent of seniors admitted to having Senioritis (Roberts). These seniors stated how they felt like six periods a day was too long, and would often skip either the last or second to last period of the day. They also decreased their productivity in class because they felt that as college was approaching there was no longer an incentive for good grades. Failure in productivity are similar traits to that of a procrastinator. A procrastinator usually does mediocre work, rather than the more difficult tasks. The reason behind the disregard for work is that the low intensity of the goals set or deadlines that need to be met, leave a lot of room to be lazy and complacent. For example, when students have been assigned a project that is due a week later they tend to ease their way into the project by working on it little by little as the days goes by. These students portray a low work ethic. Although as that deadline gets closer and closer students are more inclined to work intensely on the project. These students portray a strong work ethic. This is how some students are able to pull all-nighters to get an assignment done.  Similar to procrastination, senioritis also relates to an individual’s mindset in productivity. When individuals believe that their are no consequences in allowing their grades to slip they enter into a different reality and forgets the present. Most UC’s and Cal States take into account the second semester of senior year in highschool for their incoming freshmen. They have revoked or have placed students on academic evaluation, where they closely monitor their first semester of college grades. Even while being aware of the universities being strict on incoming freshman, some high school seniors still portray characteristics of senioritis. Anthony Harr stated that ” some seniors admit to not knowing  that they were affected by Senioritis” (Roberts). Researchers determine that our lack of motivation and declining worth ethic is a physiological phenomenon. Furthermore, according to a study put forth by Vanderbilt University, high levels of dopamine in many regions of the brain are associated with a high work ethic (jneurosci). However, there is a strong negative correlation between dopamine levels and work ethic in the anterior insula. The results of this study show that hardworking people have high levels of dopamine in the two parts of the brain most known for their role in reward and motivation, and low dopamine levels in the anterior insula, which is linked to motivation and risk perception (jneurosci). Therefore, these results may suggest that the choice between being a slacker or a high achiever may actually depend on how the brain weighs risks and rewards. The researchers at Vanderbilt University scanned the brains of twenty-five young adult volunteers and put them through a test to see how hard they were willing to work for a monetary reward. Participants would either choose an easy or a difficult button-pushing task, and get rewarded either a dollar or a variable value amount of up to four dollars. They repeated these thirty-second tasks for twenty minutes. Some of the participants opted to work harder for the larger reward by completing the difficult task, while others chose the easier task more often and accepted the small reward. Does this choice make them lazy? Maybe, Treadway said: “They were less motivated by this particular task. We suspect it predicts, to a certain extent, how motivated they might be in other contexts” (jneurosci). Some people are more cautious about taking a risk and expanding extra energy for an unlikely, but larger, reward. Other people concentrate heavily on the big reward they could get, and downplay the possible losses of energy and time. Senioritis may just be an excuse for procrastination or it may not.Senioritis may seem like, but not exactly, an article in the Sundial Humor Magazine’s states, “It’s definitely not a disease, but there’s obviously a pattern of seniors kind of just not caring anymore and not coming to school or doing classwork, but I think it’s more about how they want to get on to the future already” (Bennett). Their future seems to be all seniors think about after getting accepted into college. Senior Claire Halaka from NorthWood High School said, “I’m going to Oregon State, and I’m so excited. I just want to be there already in the cold weather. Going there in a couple of months is all I really think about, so being at school most days feels pointless.” The anticipation of the freedom that lies ahead at college has most students living in a different reality, a mental state nowhere close to high school. Senior James Sud said, “We are past the point where parents or grades really seem to matter, when there is a whole future ahead of us that seems so close”(Bennett), which what senior students fail to realize is that during their second semester their grades still matter since Colleges are still able to revoke any admission, they pay close attention to see if the student continues to maintain a strong work ethic throughout high school.  Senioritis — a colloquial expression used by students in their last year of education who are eager to graduate, but lose the motivation to give 100 percent toward their studies — can spread like wildfire for students. The definition of senioritis is closely related to procrastination because both portray characteristics of a decline in resilience and hard work. Senioritis can be on the rise among students midway through that last semester as students approach the finish line and become increasingly more lethargic with their efforts. Senioritis can be termed as a scientific phenomenon or a simple excuse given by lethargic students for a lack of productivity; however, its existence is undeniable.


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