Tips for Avoiding Senioritis

Senioritis: a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation, performance, and/or attendance. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude.

Interestingly, the two main causes of “senioritis” are polar opposites: a lack of goals or no goals left to achieve. Seniors with no concrete plans after graduation start to realize that adulthood is quickly approaching and can begin to question why they should continue to focus on school when working may be their new objective. On the other hand, seniors who have been overly engaged or highly involved run out of tasks to hold their focus and begin to embrace their boredom.

Senioritis is easy to catch and hard to get rid of. It can also be dangerous to your plans for the future. Every year, colleges rescind their offers of admission, put students on academic probation, or change financial aid packages because their performance at the end of the year was worse than when they applied.

For example, Wilkes University (PA) gives merit-based financial aid based in part on class rank.

"Four [students] this year were awarded one merit level scholarship based on their class rank at the point of application, but [their] final transcripts showed that their class rank had fallen to such a level that they no longer qualified for the original merit level scholarship," says the dean of enrollment services at Wilkes. "The damage ranged in losses from $1,000 per year to over $3,000 per year in merit aid."

The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation. To help you fight off senioritis, read on for some ways to stay on track to graduate!

Stay Organized

You probably already know what activities you'll stay involved in this year. You may also work a part-time job but still want to make the most of your time with friends and family. Fitting all of it in without pulling your hair out (or pulling your grades down) is the goal. The best tip is to stay organized with a calendar or day planner so that things don’t fall through the cracks! Write down all of your deadlines, assignments due dates, tests and so on. Then, map out what you have to do and the order in which you will complete each task. Prioritize the tasks that have the closest due dates or deadlines first and work backwards until you finish!

Keep Busy

The busier you are, the less likely you are to use down time for slacker behavior. Join a club, volunteer as a teacher’s assistant, or pick up a hobby for after school activities. If you’re the type of person who can become bored easily, find things you can do throughout the day to keep you engaged!