The dangers of apathy

If you’re stuck at South High all day anyway, you might as well pay attention to the teacher.


Artwork by Nathan Greenwalt

To a person who might read this, do you know what apathy is? 

I’ll sum it up for you. Apathy is that bored, non-focused, sluggish feeling that you get when someone/ something keeps going on and on about something you really don’t have the time or thought to really care. Does that sound familiar? I know you’ve felt it at least once!

What I’m going to talk about, more specifically, is student apathy. An apathetic student is a student who doesn’t don’t really care about what’s going on in class and is ignoring most of the subject.

I’ve noticed these types of people in most of the classes I take. They sit back and ignore the teacher, looking at their phones. They’re the ones who have their AirPods or earbuds in so they can listen to their music, or they just sleep in the middle of class. 

Whenever I see these apathetic students lounging back doing nothing I feel either disappointment or pity.

That student could be doing his/her work, taking notes, and aceing quizzes but they decide to check their Snapchat stories and look through their playlists for their next song instead. When I see this it just fills me with dread. What’s worse is when they complain about their work piling up, they don’t understand the material, or they complain about their grades.

 The thing is teachers are getting affected by this as well! Not just students!

One example of student apathy affecting teacher happened during my freshman year science class. After getting fed up with her class not paying attention and being ignorant toward her, she finally started yelling at the class, basically questioning why she was working so hard to try to teach us, when it was apparent many kids didn’t care what she said. 

History teacher Carrie Steele said she also has dealt with apathetic students.

“Parents should pay attention to the students’ work and grades more and work with them if they are having issues also the student(s) should find away and talk to their teachers about their problem of the lack of interest in the class. The reason why they [students] are generally apathetic is because they think the class would never help them in their future endeavors,” she said.  

Like I said earlier, I feel disappointed and pity when I see an apathetic student. They are harming their own grades because of their own mistakes by thinking they can get a little break from their class and they can just relax a little. They never know it’ll harm them in the long run and it has a long-lasting mark. 

I should know, I’ve done it myself. When I was a freshman I was lazy in my Algebra 1 class. I just didn’t find math interesting. Because of this, I ended up earning an F for my second semester grade. Consequently, I had to go to summer school. I felt disappointed in myself, but realized that it was my own fault. Thankfully, Mrs. House helped me through that experience, and I went from an F to a B that summer.

I’m a junior now, but I will always regret not trying my hardest my freshman year. Because of my apathy, the hit to my GPA from freshman year is still something I’m trying to overcome. I’m reminded of the phrase, “Digging the hole is easy: the hard part is getting out.” I didn’t understand it at first but now I know. Apathetic students who are currently trapped inside that hole, there is a teacher with a rope ready to get you out. All you have to do is listen to get out.