Lilah Slaughter, Head Features Editor

With hints of the ‘real world’ descending upon them in the form of college applications, jobs, concurrent enrollment classes and other plans for after graduation, seniors are beginning to feel that high school falls at the bottom of their priority lists. Senioritis takes control.

“Every year, second semester, seniors become ill with high fevers, sore throats and overall disinterest  in school. Attendance suddenly becomes optional. Mommies call in great despair wondering where their children are,” said DHS counselor Deb Medenwaldt.

A chronic disinterest in learning and attending Durango High results in persistent attendance issues and a generally sinking grades, and the counselors aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed.

“Seniors just don’t care for the most part and have a very laid back attitude towards school,” said Sr. Ty Westcott.

Sauntering through the hallways, seniors procure and bear witness to an impressive variety of dramatic sighs, the very least of growing disrespect to the institution indirectly, and unfortunately, the teachers indirectly.

The biggest issue I’ve seen in high school is the lack of care some teachers present in the classroom,” said Westcott, justifying students lack of motivation to show respect in the classroom.

He’s among a populace of students who share the mindset that teachers no longer care about how students act in the classroom, and there is therefore no reason they should behave politely.

The result is a snowball effect, catalyzed by lack of motivation to complete work, show up for school and engage respectfully while in attendance. For many, the only reason to go to school is to spend the precious remaining time with friends that will disband to the corners of the world (or perhaps the state).

The best advice for students developing the disease is to hang in there and focus on the bigger picture of the future, especially how each student’s present will contribute to their own.

“Seniors need to remember that life is much better after all college apps are submitted, then you can enjoy school and your friends before everyone scatters to the four corners of the earth. Have fun, graduate and remember the good friends and family you made here at DHS,” said Medenwaldt.

However, some despair at the promise of another four years of school. Not surprisingly, even college seniors experience the desire to reach something better.

“I felt like I was getting senioritis my junior year, but it keeps getting more real as graduation gets closer. I was just stoked to be done with high school so I could start college and now I’m just stoked to graduate so I have a degree,” said Fort Lewis College Sr. Max Ponce.

So many students fall into the trap of waiting and working for something in the future, only to start the process again. Others seek an atypical path towards uncovering a bigger picture for themselves, where school and a cyclical sort of cabin fever isn’t the center of their worlds anymore.

“After high school, I am going to travel abroad because I need to see the world before I know where my place in it is,” said Westcott.

Until then, he and his peers will have to fortify themselves for the remainder of the school year (just under 130 school days), preparing for their next steps.