Advice to the Class of 2022: Finish strong

Senioritis rears its ugly head once again


Cathedran file photo

Director of counseling Mrs. Gretchen Watko ’00 provided suggestions to seniors for finishing the year on a positive note.

Madeline Liter, Reporter

With the anticipation of college around the corner, more than a few members of the Class of 2022 have shown symptoms of senioritis. As the school year comes to a close, some seniors have shown a lack of educational motivation and both peers and counselors have some tips.

Explaining reasons why students might experience a lack of educational motivation, school counselor Mrs. Gretchen Watko ‘00 said, “There could be a number of causes leading to (senioritis), one, being exhaustion or burnout. Senior year can be stressful and exciting all at the same time with the college application process, so sometimes students can feel a lack of motivation just from being burned out.

“I also think sometimes, once students get into a school and they kind of know where they’re going, sometimes they face some lack of motivation because they have that mindset of, ‘I’m already in a school, I already  know where I’m going so I don’t need to try that hard.’ I think sometimes there’s a fear of change, which could cause students to have a little bit of senioritis knowing that graduation is near.”

Watko said some students are still waiting for college responses and some are still reviewing their college offers. The college commitment deadline is May 1. Senior Amelia DeSanto is still undecided on her college plans, but hopes to have a final decision by early to mid April.

When asked if she was experiencing feelings of disinterest, DeSanto said, “I am not necessarily experiencing senioritis currently because I have high aspirations for my future career and I am still deciding on my future schooling.” However, DeSanto said that some of her classmates were feeling unmotivated because they’ve finalized their college plans.

As for tips on how to stay on task, DeSanto said, “I stay focused by making sure I am on task in the classroom and use any free time wisely to alleviate the stress of a heavy workload.”

I would like all of our students, seniors included, to know that they are loved, valued and they are not alone.”

— Counselor Mrs. Gretchen Watko '00

In regards to a way that the school helps with senioritis, Watko said, “One thing that (we) do, which is also a strong motivator, is with seniors who have an A in a class can at the discretion of the teacher, potentially be exempt from taking the final exam in May. So if you think about it, if I’m a senior, I would want to work towards that and get all A’s, because then I would have a whole extra week of starting my summer. ”

Second semester is important and following these tips to stay focused can be beneficial. DeSanto said, “Believe it or not, there are multiple benefits (of taking second semester seriously). During this important time in our lives, (seniors) develop multiple valuable skills that will apply to various things in our lives. For example, developing good time management skills with finishing homework and projects will be beneficial in college. Colleges may ask for your third quarter grades in order to make a final decision if you are accepted or not, so it is important to take your work seriously and continue with a strong work ethic.” 

In hopes of stressing the importance of second semester to seniors, Watko said, “Colleges do get final transcripts, they do look at them (and) they do pay attention to them.” Watko said that depending on the college, if admissions officers do check on a student’s progress in the second semester and if they see a big dip in grades and feel that the student has not shown enough consistency to be prepared for their school setting, they will place a lot of value on the second semester.

Knowing that senior year in general can be stressful for students, as an overall message, Watko said, “I would like all of our students, seniors included, to know that they are loved, valued and they are not alone. There’s a whole school full of people who care. So if you need help all you have to do is reach out and we will help you get to that finish line.”

Giving words of encouragement to her classmates, DeSanto said, “We are close to graduation and we should finish the school year as strong as we started it.”