Premature Academic Nihilism Runs Rampant Through the Senior Class


Emma Fox

Nothing matters. Meaning cannot be ascribed subjectively. To transcend mortal life, one must reject what is commonly accepted as right or good. These are just a few of the tenants of Nihilism, a worldview that has a reputation for pessimism and futility. And it is also affecting the entire senior class.

Known colloquially as ‘senioritis,’ academic nihilism strikes most often when a student has decided to give up on their grades and throw academic success to the winds. Seniors are most susceptible to this phenomenon, given that they are approaching four years of mental strain. Normally academic nihilism strikes near the end of second semester, but for some seniors the temptation to give up early on grades and school in general is too tempting.

The appeal is obvious: if grades and academic success don’t matter, then the motivation for trying has immediately been eradicated. Stress disappears, days are suddenly filled with laziness and freedom. Why even show up to school?

The converse can also happen when students ascribe too much meaning to their grades. Some are guilty of thinking that nothing else matters, and are filled with terror at the thought of an A- or worse, a B. Their existence is tied only to their 4.0, the slightest threat to which sends them into a stress induced coma that only the promise of mercy from teachers can wake them.

If you find yourself suffering from academic nihilism….there’s no hope. You’re completely right. Life is meaningless, and so are grades.

Don’t you feel better?