Racing to the finish line

Tyler is a 17-year-old from Denver, CO. She enjoys reading and traveling, one day she would like to pursue a career in Business Management.

When you look at the typical senior, you probably see a student with rigorous classes, a part-time job, a social life, and a stack of college applications. Then, that senior gets accepted to college, and begins to daydream about prom and graduation. As a result, the senior begins to slack off on homework, begins to miss classes, and stops caring about anything school related because the end is so near. This is called senioritis.

Senioritis is very easy to get and is very difficult to combat. If you believe that senior year in the K-12 education has many flaws, that senioritis is inevitable, and that school administrators should assign seniors something more valuable to do with their time, I would full heartedly agree with you. Unfortunately, no one has found a cure yet and seniors are forced to trek to school every day in a mental state of exhaustion with few incentives.

When you’re a senior, it is hard to dig down and find that last bit of energy to stay up until two to study for that test. You know your admission to college will not get rescinded because you got a B instead of an A on your nervous system test. You stroll leisurely to class not caring that the bell has already rung. You know your teacher is not going to give you a detention two weeks before graduation.

Even if you think you will never be plagued with this disease, you could be. Before I was a senior, I never understood it. I wondered why the seniors couldn’t just get over it and finish strong. I was always a good student, so I wasn’t worried about my grades dropping. I always worked hard, so I didn’t think I would have any trouble patiently waiting until the last day of school.

The beginning of my senior year was pretty manageable. I was keeping my grades up, was pouring my heart out into my extracurricular activities, and always showed my school pride.

Then in early March, I got a likely letter from one of my top choice colleges. Within a week, I literally felt like I was possessed and another person had taken control of my body. All of the sudden I couldn’t focus on my homework, started asking my parents to excuse me from class multiple times a week, and could not care less about any of my extracurricular activities. Every day seemed to stretch out like eternity and I just could not see the point of anything when the end was so close. I felt like I was completely drained of energy. As much as I wanted to finish strong, there was nothing left in me.

Luckily, I realized that I wanted my last semester grades to prove how hard I had worked, and I began thinking about the recognition I wanted to receive at graduation. As a result, I went back to working hard and finished out the school year strong.

Senioritis really is something that is inevitable. Until someone finds a cure, here are a few tips for getting through it:

Remember you are still in high school: When you are buried underneath college applications, acceptance letters start to roll in, and you begin making college visits, it is very easy to begin to think you are practically already in college. But you are not in college yet. You have four years to enjoy college, make your last days of high school days to remember.

Do not let your grades drop: If your grades drop significantly, there are two things that can happen. You could end up not getting your diploma or you could get an offer from college rescinded. It doesn’t happen very often, but it still does occasionally. The effects are devastating, so make sure your grades do not slip.

Think about graduation: You have been working four years for this. The euphoria that comes along with graduation is ten times greater if you finish strong. If you slacked off during senior year, you may feel apathetic towards graduation too. Make sure you are finishing strong so that graduation can be everything you were hoping for.

Enjoy the senior year experience: Do not let yourself obsess over college and other responsibilities. Make sure you maintain a balance between work and fun. Remember the exciting things like prom, senior activities, and graduation. This makes it easier to stay motivated during those last six months of school.

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