“Senioritis,” as defined by urbandictionary.com, is “a crippling disease that strikes seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.” I quote this in the hopes that it entertains you and maybe even brings up some memories. The symptoms stated in this definition make me laugh. I remember being a High School Senior, we could scope out Freshmen from a mile away. Freshman girls would arrive at school after waking up at 4:30 AM to have perfect hair and a full-face of make-up. For our Senior girls, it was a good day if you saw us with hair brushed and the appropriate uniform polo. Trust me, if we had not had to wear uniforms, we all would have been in track pants and sweatshirts.
I may step on a few toes and this may sting a little, but keep in mind- I have intentionally embraced “senioritis” before too. I believe “senioritis” is something we choose and at its root is pride. Like a dreaded disease, “senioritis” is not something you want spreading; however, it seems to be contagious- if you are a leader and have fallen in to the trap, watch those who imitate and follow you. “Senioritis” exudes in the form of attitude and lack of action. This haughty attitude of “senioritis” comes about when “I FEEL I deserve a break” and “I FEEL I have finally arrived”. When this attitude persists we see it is all about self and we bypass the call to do all things with excellence and for His glory. There is a sense of invincibility amongst those with “senioritis” and lack of action typically follows in the form of apathy and laziness. Seniors feel they are the top of the totem pole- they know everything, they know everybody, and everybody knows them. For sinful self it is a ego lifting season. For holiness-pursuing self, a season of “senioritis” is quiet empty and dark.
Some of our Senior girls came to me at the beginning of last year with some concerns. Each had been noticing and were convicted of their laziness and lack of concern for the things of God and life in general. These girls were leaders in their respective schools, teams, organizations and our student ministry. Because of their convictions, they decided to put on the armor and fight the spiritual warfare.
I had the opportunity to lead their Senior small group for the last part of the year on Wednesday nights. For the first night, I came up with twenty questions I wanted them, believers and unbelievers, to reflect on. My questions varied and I have altered some since- I have attached my list below. I wanted to call attention to every part of their being and help them see how in all things Christ can be glorified. For our girls, these questions made them directly examine their identity, purpose, and legacy.
1. Do you love yourself? (I had three girls write they hated themselves- opened a lot of discussion in personal conversations to walk through deeps scars and hurts)
2. What is one thing you like about yourself?
3. What is one thing you a struggle with?
4. What is your greatest fear?
5. What are you bitter about?
6. What are your thoughts consumed with?
7. What is your greatest passion?
8. Do you have a consistent quiet time?
9. Do you have a consistent prayer life?
10. Why do you come to church?
11. What are you living for?
12. Name a friend you are thankful for because of their spiritual guidance?
13. Do you have someone to keep you accountable?
14. What keeps you from worshiping?
15. What is the Lord teaching you at this point in time?
16. What does success mean to you?
17. What are you desiring the Lord to do in your life this year?
18. What are you expecting the Lord to do in your life this year?
19. When you picture yourself in college- how do you see yourself?
20. Is Jesus your number one priority?
Help your girls fight “senioritis”- asking the tough questions pushes them to look at the state of their heart. Some answers to these questions will hurt your heart deeply- let that lead you to true intercession through prayer. Encourage them to be honest and remind them there is confidentiality. It is important to also mention your mandate to seek help and report any situation needing further attention (only reason to break confidentiality). For many girls, these thoughts have been stored in their minds yet they had no avenue or idea of how to express them. Feel free to adjust or add questions according to your people.
Praying these questions soften hearts to listen and move with the Spirit.