Journals The Tattoo

Senioritis strikes

BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Forget SARS. Senioritis is killing us seniors, and the epidemic is only
getting worse as the days dwindle down.
I can’t remember how I caught it, or who I caught it from, but I think somewhere after the AP testing and before the prom was when I felt the symptoms creep in.
The virus slowly crept into my body as the days continued. My eyes are constantly drowsy and closed in the middle of class, my feet have a hard time moving to yet another class, I have night terrors of never getting my diploma, hallucinations that I’m already in college, and I got teared up about the 2-for-1 taco day during a lunch period.

Amanda Lehmert/Youth Journalism International

My fingers have a hard time typing another paper (or senior journal), too, but it might be senior-arthritis. I think there’s a difference. Now, I’m almost completely bedridden with laziness and lack of motivation.
I was surprised how quickly the disease spread after Senior Skip Day, the Monday after the prom in which most of the senior class calls themselves out of school and gathers at the beaches and other recreational areas. Lying on the soft sand of Misquamicut State Park , I began to wonder how pointless it is to wait through another month of lectures, videos, and finals before I could get my diploma.
Could this school system graduate their kids any later? I want to start my internship, attend grad parties, and have a few months of peace and solitude before I go to college.
Obviously, my illness is severe. But I’m slowly and surely fighting what seems to be a losing battle. It’s not like they make medication to help alleviate the pain, although a cup of coffee or those Dunkin’ Donuts’ Coolattas provide three-hour relief.
I’m fortunate enough to still have the willpower to attend all my classes, although I’ve been known for random third-period lunch runs to various buffets and restaurants during study hall.
In fact, I’ve even taken this opportunity to raise my GPA and class rank a little. While my fellow classmates slowly weaken from senioritis, I muster up some strength and study, just a little, and outdo them in our last few high school quizzes.
This disease, however, really takes a toll on my punctuality. I can’t keep down a deadline for the life of me. Between repaying debts, returning locks and books, handing in homework, and mailing in college paperwork, my school planner is just too small to keep track of everything.
I nearly forgot to attend every one of my banquets I was invited to, and when I remembered, I was usually late.
With less than two weeks left before freedom, I count the minutes.
Give me another 24 hours, and I’ll start counting seconds on my watch before senioritis cures itself and I’m stuck with trying to burn off the “freshman 15” I’ll probably gain once I’m off to college.

Mike Nguyen is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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