Apr 03, 2024 Melanie Trindade

"Senioritis" and How to Beat It

We all know how the story of the tortoise and the hare ends, don't let that be you!

Midterms are over. Acceptance letters have rolled in. You’re passing all your classes. The countdown to graduation has begun. It’s time to kick your feet up; seems like summer break is coming early.

The fatigue of the past year sets in, and suddenly, you find yourself putting more and more of your assignments on the back burner. Procrastination is at an all-time high, but it doesn’t matter because you’ve already been accepted into college… right?

You may have heard about this before but never fully understood the gravity of the situation. It seems you may have… *checks notes*… a case of senioritis. 🫢

What are the symptoms?

Exhaustion, loss of purpose, sleeping in, overuse of sweats, procrastination, tardiness, indifferent attitude, repeated absence. Unfortunately, you won’t find this one on WebMD.

Despite this, thousands of students encounter senioritis each year. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, senioritis is “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” In other words, you are so close to the finish line that you lose the drive to continue running.

Before, graduation and college acceptance pushed you to be the best student you could be, with good grades, extracurriculars, sports, AP courses, and more. Now that you have already proven yourself, there is no longer that key motivator to continue to inspire you. You begin to slack off, whether that be on your assignments and/or attendance.

Is it serious, doc?

There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and taking more time for yourself. However, senioritis becomes a big issue when it reflects on your grades, attendance, and overall rapport.

The most overlooked dilemma with senioritis is the fact that colleges can and will rescind your admission offer. Just because you were accepted does not mean they turn a blind eye to the rest of your senior year. Not only can it impact admission, but it also may result in changes in your scholarships, merit aid, and internship opportunities.

Another central point to consider is the timeline of these consequences. Colleges receive your final transcript around June or July, meaning you could learn about your revoked admission or aid far too late to change your plans. There’s a lot of risks at play here.

What’s the treatment or cure?

It’s time to bring things back into focus. Depending on your symptoms, you must get back into the habit of completing your work, showing up to class, waking up on time, etc. No more walking out after lunch. Avoid the temptation to skip out on that one group project. These can all be achieved by getting re-motivated. Centralize your ambitions to finish strong so you can carry your head high while crossing the stage.

Keep in mind that you are not alone in this. Chat with a trusted friend, parent, teacher, or guidance counselor. Make your feelings known and come up with a recovery plan together.

I haven’t caught it yet… what can I do to prevent this?

If senioritis season is coming up soon, here are some tips to help make sure you don’t catch it:

  • Plan your senior year courses accordingly. If possible, add a few enjoyable electives that will help keep you busy and not bored.
  • Get involved in activities (clubs, community service, job) to keep your energy up with engaging pastimes.
  • Reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve done so far. Buy yourself a sweet little treat, take breaks, go out with friends, and more. You deserve it!
  • Switch it up – Don’t bore yourself with the same routine. Try out new study methods and locations to keep things interesting.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. Get fired up about the changes that graduation will bring - college, new friends, new location, new opportunities.

The final results

Let’s circle back and touch on the fact that college acceptance is not the end goal here. While getting into your dream school is absolutely a priority, it’s significant to note that college is not everything. When you put all of you, sleepless nights and all, into getting accepted, you can lose sight of yourself. You can miss out on the fun and excitement that senior year is meant to bring.

Whether you’re an incoming senior or soon-to-be graduate, remember to strike a balance between being a scholar and making the most of life before college. You’ve come this far; commit to a strong finish. The best is yet to come!




Published by Melanie Trindade April 3, 2024