Seniors, this is it—your final year of high school. Except now, you’re not only focusing on managing your course load, but college admissions as well.
There’s a lot to juggle, from college applications and essay-writing to collecting letters of recommendation and possibly studying for the SAT or ACT one last time. And this is on top of regular school work, finals, AP or IB exams, extracurricular activities, and maintaining some semblance of a social life.
With all the simultaneous excitement and pressures facing you, it’s easy to understand how senioritis—that infectious little bug that runs rampant around January or February of senior year—can be so pernicious. And so contagious.
Don’t worry; we’re here to offer the top five tips for fighting off senioritis and staying on track for college admissions:
Fight senioritis by watching your grades
Remember, second semester grades still matter for college admissions. It is very tempting to lose steam after you hit submit on that last college application. That’s why it’s so important to keep your eye on the goal, especially when you’ve come so far and are so close to the finish line. Those colleges you’ve applied to and dream of attending may very well ask to see second semester grades. You do not want to be in the position of having to show them a nose-dive.
Take breaks wisely
One of the top symptoms of senioritis is lethargy. Nix that bad habit before it becomes your routine. You have worked so hard—maybe the hardest you have in your high school career—balancing school, applications, and standardized tests. It’s natural to tell yourself, “I deserve a break!” Of course, you do, but don’t let this mentality become counter-productive. Take some time to relax after you’ve submitted applications and taken your last SAT or ACT, but don’t take too long of a break. Stay involved in school and activities, and keep those grades up. You’ve come this far—stay the course, and all your efforts will soon pay off.
Enjoy your home
One year from now you will be in college. Let that sink in for a moment. You do not want to look back at senior year and wish you had finished more things that you started. At the same time, this may be your last year at home with your family and friends, so you are certainly allowed to let yourself enjoy it. Having fun and appreciating the people in your life does not equate to senioritis.
Continue to take courses that challenge, motivate, and inspire you. This will keep you on top of your game. Also, colleges may reach out and ask for your second semester schedule on applications. You want to show them that you are still challenging yourself rather than just doing what it takes to get by. If you take an easier course load, it can be much more tempting to slack off.
Remember to have fun
This isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessity. Everyone needs some time to recharge. Just find a balance between working hard and having fun. This will make senior year that much sweeter. Remember, the college admissions process does not last forever!