We all know the importance of staying healthy during the school year, but there’s one “illness” hand washing can’t prevent: the dreaded senioritis! What is senioritis? It’s the tendency for high school seniors to lose their motivation and have trouble focusing on their schoolwork, as they know their time in high school is coming to an end. Even the most diligent students can suffer a bout of senioritis, but it’s important to make sure you do your best on your college applications, and get them in on time, senioritis or no. Here are some tips for beating back senioritis as you complete your college applications:
Know the Warning Signs
Senioritis can strike anyone — but there are ways to be aware of it before it gets out of hand and you fall behind. It’s important to know the warning signs before you find yourself scrambling at the last minute because a bout of senioritis led to procrastination.
If you find yourself struggling to complete homework during lunch before it’s due in the next class, take note. If you’re zoning out in class, finding it hard to focus, or too caught up in daydreaming to remember what your teacher just said, beware. These are some classic senioritis signs and need a bit of course correction. You may wonder what the fuss is about, since your grades are already set for your college applications, but not so fast — you’ll need to keep your grades above a certain average even after you’re accepted, in order to keep your offer of admissions. Moreover, if senioritis is impacting your classwork, it can also wreak havoc on your college applications, and those need to be a top priority!
Set a Series of Goals and Deadlines
Everyone knows college applications have deadlines, and these are important to be mindful of. But if you’re trying to avoid senioritis-induced procrastination, one big deadline may not be enough to keep you on track. Instead, try a series of shorter, smaller deadlines. For instance, “I need to finish my supplementary essay for School X by Date Y,” with Date Y being in a week or two. These will help you accomplish all the little tasks that make up a college application on a manageable timeline, rather than having to scramble to do ten things at once the week before your application is due.
Prioritize the Most Important Things
Speaking of doing ten things at once, college application season can be exhausting — even when you’re not trying to avoid senioritis! Between keeping up with your schoolwork, finishing your application essays, managing your letters of recommendation, and prepping for your midterm exams, you might feel like you barely have a minute to breathe!
Avoiding burnout goes hand in hand with avoiding senioritis, but moreover, sometimes there will be a limit to how much you can give your undivided attention to at any given moment. This is where prioritizing comes in handy. While your classes are important, spending a little less time studying for them, given that you already have the grades going into your college applications, in order to make certain that you have the time and energy to make sure your application essays are the best they can be, is often a smart idea. While you shouldn’t slack off in any area, figuring out what’s most urgent, and giving those things top billing in your schedule will help stave off any senioritis-induced lag that could have serious consequences.
Reward Yourself on Jobs Well Done
While determination, caution, and drive are great motivational tools, you also deserve to celebrate the little victories! When you’ve finished a major application, or your recommenders have finally submitted your letters, give yourself a treat, be it a favorite snack, an afternoon off to hang out with friends, or whatever little indulgence will give you a lift. Rewarding yourself when you’re doing well creates a positive reinforcement loop—keeping you on track!
Remember, if you’re struggling with senioritis, or lack of motivation more generally, reaching out for professional help can be a great option. Coaches, like our team at A-List, are experts at helping students like you, and can set you a plan to keep you on the road to college success!