‘Senioritis’ kicking in for some students as finals approach

James Hennahane, a junior from Leawood, feels he has senioritis already. He said he focused hard his freshman and sophomore year, but now his classes are tougher.

“I’m just extremely lazy when it comes to homework; procrastination is always there,” Hennahane said. “I’m getting lazy my junior and senior year even though that’s when you’re supposed to be going really hard, but it’s not happening like that. Junioritis is a thing.”

A survey by the National Survey of Student Engagement found that students study an average of 15 hours a week, yet it varies depending on the major, according to a press release by Indiana University. The release said students study more than teachers typically give them credit. The survey found that seniors majoring in engineering study an average of 20 hours a week, and seniors majoring in social sciences and business study an average of 14 hours a week.

Mary Ann Rasnak, Academic Achievement and Access Center director, said she doesn’t believe senioritis exists. She said the freshman and sophomore course work is broad, and as a student moves toward their senior year, they focus more on their major, which can be exciting.

“It’s more of a high school phenomenon,” Rasnak said.

James Carothers, a professor in English, has taught KU students for about 43 years. He has witnessed senioritis in his own students. He said some students decide to add on more work toward their senior year, such as a double major or honors, which can lead to a work overload. He said when students pile up too much work, they can start to feel like it’s impossible or unnecessary.

“They begin peeling away responsibilities,” Carothers said, “and they think they’ve learned enough to get by with minimal study. In addition, they are often distracted by job searches or developments in their personal lives.”

He said senioritis is less likely to occur in students who care about their GPA. Michelle Carter, a senior from Kansas City, said her devotion to obtaining good grades has deterred her away from senioritis. However, she has witnessed it in her friends.

“It’s the end of the semester, and they are just tired of working,” Carter said.

  • Updated Dec. 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm
  • Edited by Sarah McCabe