04/16/2012 08:23 am ET Updated Jun 16, 2012


In a little bit less than three weeks, almost every single current high school senior in America will have made a decision that will affect the entire course of the rest of their lives. May 1. College admissions deadline doomsday.

Now, this isn't to say that every current senior is going to college. In fact, a huge percentage of them won't. Of course, not attending a university is a decision in and of itself. But it is the May 1 deadline (also known as "Decision Day") that truly seals students into that major choice and determines the beginning of their metaphorical journey down their metaphorical path in life. That is, if "senioritis" doesn't swallow them whole along the way.

I just couldn't wait that long, so I submitted my decision at the beginning of April rather than waiting until May to make up my mind. As soon as I clicked "decline enrollment" on the websites of two schools and "accept offer of admissions" on one, I felt the most intense surge of relief I could possibly have imagined. So great a surge of relief that I forgot to do my math homework. And my English homework. And my AP Euro homework. And -- well, you get where I'm going with this.

You see, unless you've been a second-semester senior any time recently, you've probably forgotten (or just don't know yet) what it feels like to experience senioritis. For some, it starts at the beginning of senior year, this feeling of deep and utter carelessness about the institution you've been a part of for the past 12 years. It goes deeper than homework, too. It's more than a willingness to skip classes or stay home sick all day -- it's accepting a grade that you never would have wanted before just because you already know what you're doing after high school and can no longer find it within yourself to care.

It can also be argued that if you're like me and have been working very hard towards college for a very long time, it hits you 10 times worse than it does to the people who have been a little less gung-ho about post-secondary education. Now that my college goals have been met, why should I have to try?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm pretty sure that senioritis is the leading cause of destruction to GPAs. Believe me when I say that it's a killer. After 12 years of staring at whiteboards and copying down notes, now I find myself staring out the window and shopping online for possible swimsuit ideas. I count down every second until the summer even though it's still months away. I also have to make up five math assignments within the next two days because of this.

That is what senioritis does to a person. It lulls you into complacency until all of a sudden you've got a midterm and no clue what's on it. Let this serve as a cautionary tale. College acceptances can be and have been revoked if you spend more time paying attention to Instagram than you do to your English class. If that is kept in mind and you remember to do your homework more than just every once in a while, it should be smooth sailing from here on out. If not, it could be a bumpy ride and you might just have to watch your plans go down like the Titanic.

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