Apparent Apathy

Why students feel apathetic towards school and what to do to combat it.


8th grade student is struggling with classwork due to her apathetic approach to school.

        Senioritis is a term used to describe the apathy senior students feel towards the end of their school year. Despite not being an actual medical condition, many seniors face this issue with the only cure being graduation. Over the years, however, it appears that senioritis has spread to other grades. Eighth graders, to be specific, have an ongoing struggle with apathy within the classroom. Why is apathy becoming more apparent in schools over the years? 

        Firstly, the definition of apathy is a lack of interest, motivation, or concern towards a subject. Many students feel this towards the end of the school year because they cannot wait until the summer comes. Recently, however, apathy is becoming more apparent earlier in the school year. Two eighth grade students at Venice Middle School, Kelsey Woronick and Atella Windom, shared their two cents on this topic. Atella explained, “… as an eighth-almost-ninth grader, I have been waiting for the school year to end and to have a break from the schoolwork.” She, along with many other students, faced an academic burnout which led to an apathetic approach to schoolwork. Eighth grade students have many tests to study for during the last month of school, and overworking yourself can lead to burnout. 

        Although apathy is an emotion that a student has every right to feel, studies conducted by The Jed Foundation discovered that extended periods of feeling this way can lead to issues with relationships, schoolwork, and mental health. The lack of motivation towards schoolwork can cause a student’s development to deplete and can cause a bump on their path towards academic success. Kelsey describes how she handles her work by expressing, “I give myself motivation by creating goals for myself… When times get hard for me, I think of that goal and how my actions will affect it.” It is important to set a goal for yourself and to pace out the work to avoid stress. 

        Apathy among students has a wide variation of causes. According to The Jed Foundation, some of the most common causes are mental illnesses. For instance, apathy is a symptom of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Another cause is social media. Atella explained, “I believe most of our apathy is caused by school, extra-curriculars, and testing, but that’s not to say social media has to connection at all.” Social media is a tool that can be used for good or bad. It is important to be aware of the content that is being consumed and to manage the time spent mindlessly scrolling. Lastly, one more cause is current world events. Kelsey agrees that societal issues impact a student’s motivation drastically. “Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to ban programs relating to diversity and inclusion.” Students who are affected by his legislation may suffer from his actions, which can lead to apathy in the classroom because of his actions. 

        Overall, the rise of apathy has many causes. It is important to be aware of the impact apathy has on an individual and to learn how to pull yourself out of the cycle. The goals you are striving to complete are not far out of reach, but they will become harder to achieve if you pressure yourself to do it all at once.