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Preventing Senioritis

Most people can remember counting down to high school graduation—years, months, days—and for high school seniors that countdown is only one month from being over. Senior year is already exciting for this reason but it is also a year full of dances, grad trips, and lasting memories. However, many seniors can forget the most important part of the year: school work.

This unfortunate consequence of the excitement of graduating high school has developed a name: Senioritis. Its symptoms include letting homework assignments slip, dropping grades, failing tests and quizzes in classes you found easy, spacing out in class, and a general lack of “oomph”.

This “disease” can strike anyone, no matter how hard-working. In fact, sometimes the most dedicated students fall victim to Senioritis the most easily. College-geared students and those who have plans to enter in the workforce once they graduate can get distracted by their futures. Senioritis can hit the hardest once seniors know what college they are accepted to. Their main motivation for doing well in their classes for the past four years has been to graduate with the grades they need to get into the college they want, and once that happens, some seniors can’t find the motivation to make it through the little time they have left in high school.

The dangers of Senioritis come from the fact that senior year (that includes the end of it) is one of the most important years of school for students. Colleges and employers look at junior and especially senior year with a more watchful eye than any other. These final weeks in May are a time that can make or break a grade due to finals and for many students it can be an opportunity to save money by receiving college credit for passing AP tests.

It is also important to remember that college acceptances are conditional. When a student is accepted into a college, that acceptance is assuming that the student maintains grades that are similar to what the student had when they were accepted. Colleges certainly are not afraid to deny admission to a student who slacked off too much towards the end of the year.

Some tips for avoiding Senioritis include:
•Get a calendar and plan a deadline for everything.
•Design your schedule so there is one day where you don’t have anything to do after dinner and can just relax.
•If any day is scheduled with more than three major tasks, do something early or push something back if possible.
•Look around campus thinking about where you will be this same time next year. This seems counter-productive but it will give you the energy you need to push through the rest of the year.
•When pushing through an assignment you find boring, remind yourself that this is the last time you will ever have to do it.
•Be nicer to people on campus to make sure you leave behind an impression you’ll be proud of.

Surviving Senioritis can be a difficult thing and no one is going to be perfect. But if you keep the end in mind while focusing on the present you will be able to motivate yourself to make it through to graduation and fight off this dangerous disease.

Steven Colson