Senioritis is a colloquial term used to describe seniors who stop working as hard to maintain their grades after college applications are due. While seniors finally find freedom during that period, it also results in seniors slacking off, as they believe that the hard part is finished. The sudden decrease in motivation results in slipping grades, which often differs from the grades that were on the student’s transcript. If their grades slip too far, it can result in universities sending in letters that rescind their offers of admission, which means that the university doesn’t believe that the student can deliver the academic rigour that they promised before their grades slipped.

In contrast, there is a lesser-known variant of senioritis known as junioritis, where the same slacking off occurs for a different reason. While sufferers from senioritis stop their work because they believe that they’ve completed the work that they need to do, students with junioritis slack off because of burnout. Juniors in high school take an average of three to five AP classes, which can cause insurmountable amounts of stress. Along with the AP classes, juniors also participate in activities such as school sports teams and the school play. The overload of work causes juniors to procrastinate from their schoolwork as a way to cope with the extreme workload that they receive– similar to how ostriches put their head in the ground to ‘escape’ from the danger around them.

Although both ‘illnesses’ are categorised by the decrease in motivation towards schoolwork and more socialisation with their peers, senioritis and junioritis are both caused by reasons that are opposite to each other: senioritis is caused by the sudden abundance of freedom, whilst junioritis is caused by too much work. Both are harmful in their own different ways: seniors who lose their admission to college lose their hopes of admission to the future that they were working so hard for, and juniors ruin their likelihood of getting into their dream schools by a significant amount.

To say what is worse, however, depends if you are looking at the long-term effects or short-term effects; while senioritis messes up admissions for universities late in the game (meaning that you still have other colleges to consider), junioritis can skew your chances into getting into a big-name university, limiting your scope to lesser-known colleges that may or may not help you with your future. While both conditions are obviously not ideal, senioritis is the lesser of two evils, even though it is only somewhat better than junioritis, which ruins your goals in the long run.

While motivation is hard to find during a burnout or when college applications are done, remember this: you shouldn’t walk after a sprint.