As the second semester sneaks up on students nationwide, many are taking the energy gained over holiday break to push through and finish the school year strong. However, for Grady seniors, the school year finished weeks ago.
One senior, Noah Motivachun, has already been accepted and committed to a college for the upcoming fall semester of the 2021-22 school year.
“Now that I’m committed to a school, it’s like I don’t even go here anymore,” Motivachun said. “My second semester grades don’t even matter; it’s not like they’re going to reject me at this point. In my mind, I’m already in the summer before college. No responsibilities, no school.”
Senior Ty Red feels the same way. As a second semester senior, he describes his motivation to do school work as “more nonexistent than the chance that I show up to class.”
“I was pretty bummed out about not having a senior year at first,” Red said. “But after completing all my college applications, I realized that I didn’t have to do any more work. Usually, I leave my Zoom running while napping.”
While the term “senioritis” was coined a long time ago, virtual learning has seemed to amplify the already existent lack of motivation and has made it easier for students to avoid responsibilities. Senior Sue Noutaheer has taken extreme measures when it comes to dodging deadlines.
“I actually deleted Google Classroom from my phone and computer,” Noutaheer said. “If I can’t see it, I can’t do it. It was really just ruining my vibe.”
Teachers have noticed the seniors’ decline in motivation as well. AP Literature teacher Warren Peace, who teaches majority-senior classes, has noticed his class size and participation shrink after the shift to a new semester.
“During the first semester, my students were engaging and had their cameras and mics on in class regularly,” Peace said. “As soon as we returned back to Zoom second semester, it was a completely different story. I don’t even need a waiting room on my Zoom link anymore because only two people show up for class.”
Even when students do decide to join the Zoom, they don’t seem to stick around for long.
“I noticed that some of my brighter and more engaging students suddenly seemed to be having ‘technical difficulties’ every single day,” Peace said. “They would join class for the first few minutes, turn on their mics thus unleashing a wretched crackling sound, type in the chat that their internet cut out and next thing you know they’re gone. I think Ty Red currently holds the record for quickest to leave my Zoom.”
When asked for a response to this allegation, Red simply replied, “You either play or get played. I’m playing chess while they’re playing checkers.”