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How students can avoid 'senioritis'

Senior year of high school can be a whirlwind of activity. The early months are spent wrapping up standardized testing and applying to college. Since many colleges and universities ask for mid-year transcripts for students to aid with class placement and/or make final admissions decisions, students also need to maintain their studies and grades throughout the fall and winter.

Come spring, when graduating seniors have already picked a college, students with their eyes on the finish line may feel like pulling back a bit. According to Southern New Hampshire University, the term “senioritis” refers to a common condition reflecting a lack of motivation by students who are reaching the end of their coursework. While it occurs in high school seniors and college seniors, those in trade schools or other programs also can experience senioritis. Students hope that they can simply coast until the end of school. It’s important not to let senioritis set in to the point that students’ academic futures are suddenly compromised.

- Consider the repercussions. According to the University of the People, many colleges have a policy that incoming freshmen must maintain a certain GPA to become students at their institutions. Letting grades slip can ruin chances of attending the school you worked hard to get into, even if you’ve already been accepted. Dartmouth College, for example, notes that they reserve the right to rescind an offer if “the student’s final academic record has lowered significantly.” A similar policy is enforced by Stanford University.

- Schedule breaks. Take advantage of time off from school and on the weekends to engage in fun activities. Respites from school work can help you return to studies fresh and ready to engage anew.

- Plan your senior courses wisely. Work with your guidance counselor to schedule courses throughout your time at school so your senior year schedule features few rigorous classes and includes more enjoyable electives.

- Hold each other accountable. Get together with a close group of classmates to inspire one another to continue to study and maintain good grades. Accountability to another person can serve as motivation.

- Ask for help and support. It’s common for seniors to want to slack off if they’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If various factors in your life are causing you anxiety, reach out to your parents and friends for help.

- Establish strong habits. Learning to stay focused even throughout the spring of senior year can help set the course for good habits that spill over into college, like time management and focus.

Avoiding a case of senioritis can be challenging, but it is in students’ best interests to stay focused on their work until they don their caps and gowns.


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