How to Control Your Senioritis Symptoms

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    Senioritis is the famed academic disease that’s both earnestly felt by many or jokingly tossed around in conversation. Many students begin to experience senioritis symptoms shortly after receiving college decisions in the spring. But what is the definition of senioritis? And how can students overcome senioritis? At its core, senioritis is a state of “I can’t wait to be done with high school.” That said, its impacts vary across individuals.

    For many students, senioritis can be described as a loss of motivation. As a result, their grades may suffer. Other students may begin to procrastinate more, put less effort into their work, or lose interest in their studies. Some students may begin skipping class altogether! There are lots of different symptoms of senioritis and it’s important to remember that senioritis has the potential to impact any high school senior — including straight-A students.

    Thankfully, there are lots of tips for high school seniors to help keep them on track during their final semester. In this article, we’ll review reasons why students may suffer from senioritis, what the symptoms may look like, and how to stay on track until graduation.

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    Why do students suffer from senioritis?

    So, what causes senioritis? Many students experience symptoms of senioritis after they receive college decisions. They feel safe knowing what happens next and feel like they no longer have to try so hard. In other words, once they’ve achieved the outcome they’ve been working towards — college acceptance — they are more likely to disengage from their normal routines and responsibilities.

    Other students may experience symptoms of senioritis because they are deeply disappointed with their college outcomes. That’s to say that for every satisfied student, there are countless students who aren’t admitted to their dream schools. As a result, they lose all motivation. These students feel that their hard work over the years didn’t get them anywhere and that there’s no point in trying any longer.

    Both types of students — those satisfied with their outcomes and those who are dissatisfied — work hard and invest in their studies because they are hoping for a particular outcome. And, once their outcomes are revealed, they experience a serious decline in motivation.

    If you do not want to be disappointed in your college outcomes, check out our post on finding colleges that are a good ‘fit’ for you. After all, the most successful students have a strategy to maximize their college acceptances. And if you have been accepted into your top school, congratulations! Check out our article, What to Do Once You’ve Been Accepted to Your Dream College.

    Why should I control the symptoms?

    You may find yourself asking: “So what? Why does it matter if students loosen up at the end of their high school career?” Well, there are several reasons why it is important for students to remain engaged throughout their senior year.


    Learning never stops.

    First, college acceptances are not the sole purpose of going to school. Ideally, students dedicate themselves to their studies because they love to learn. Learning continues throughout senior spring and those that disengage once they receive college admissions decisions miss out on valuable learning opportunities.


    Offers of admission can be rescinded.

    Second, aside from missing out on learning opportunities, there are serious impacts senioritis can have on students’ futures. For example, college acceptances are contingent on grade maintenance. This means that it’s important for students to keep up their grades and finish their senior year strong; otherwise, they may find that their future is not as secure as they thought.

    Students should refer to our article College Planning Timeline for 12th Grade Students for more information on steps they should be taking at the end of their senior year.


    It’s important to cultivate good habits.

    Third, high school is the time to start cultivating a sense of discipline and motivation. Once you enter college and the professional workforce, you’ll find that your future trajectory is no longer as clear. Most likely, you won’t be progressing towards one type of outcome (such as acceptance to college); rather, you will be working towards various outcomes. Finishing strong your senior year is a promising sign that you’ll be able to handle the constant workload you’ll have in college — and later, in your career. Ultimately this is why it’s so important to learn How to Stay Organized in High School.

    This is all to say that it’s completely fine to take a break after you’ve been working hard for so long. But it’s not okay to start shirking your responsibilities. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep preparing for your future!

    high school students

    How to control your senioritis symptoms

    If you start feeling symptoms of senioritis, don’t worry! There’s a cure to your boredom, restlessness, and lack of motivation. Consider the tips below to combat senioritis and finish your senior year strong:


    Learn to love learning (again).

    Just because a student is struggling with senioritis doesn’t mean they don’t love to learn. Most likely, they are just tired. After all, they are emerging from a marathon sprint of applying to college! Now that they’ve received their college decisions, they must remember that learning is valuable in and of itself.

    If you feel less engaged in your studies than you used to, find ways to rediscover your joy for learning. Read a book for pleasure, pursue a passion project, or research something you’ve been curious about. And do your best to remain engaged in your courses. After all, your teachers have a lot of knowledge to pass on to you!

    Use your free time to do something that is meaningful and interesting to you without increasing your screen time. Do something that requires intellectual engagement instead of upping your time spent playing video games or watching TV. Remember, learning is not just about reaching a goal or some idea of success. Rather, it enriches one’s understanding of the world and is thus valuable in its own right.


    Prepare for adult life.

    Your transition to college will present a lot of new challenges. You may find yourself living on your own for the first time in your life, cooking your own meals, and/or managing your own finances. Start preparing early by drafting your college packing list, trying out some new recipes, or reading our blog post on successful college financial planning.

    Use the rest of your senior year to get excited and prepare for your next steps. You’ll have many major transition points throughout your adult life as you change careers, move to a new place, and/or settle down and start a family. Use your time productively and gain the skills you need to plan for and adapt to new life events.


    Get involved.

    We are all, in part, products of our communities. We are influenced and supported by friends, family members, neighbors, teachers, and strangers. If you are grateful for all that you’ve achieved so far and found yourself with time to spare, consider getting more involved in your community.

    Are there places for you to volunteer and give back? Can you organize a community appreciation event? Can you spearhead a fundraiser or day of action that leaves some aspect of your community better off? Give back to those who have helped you become who you are today.

    As you can see, there is no shortage of things you can do during your senior year to remain engaged and finish strong. It might take a lot of work, but there are definitely cures for senioritis! Set goals for yourself of what you hope to accomplish by the end of your senior year, make a calendar and reward yourself in small ways for accomplishing your goals.

    Key takeaways and moving forward

    Senioritis is no easy thing to overcome, but it is much easier to combat once you reorient your mindset on what learning and productivity mean to you. If you find yourself with less to do than usual, seize that spare time to do something meaningful for you and your community. And, if you’re finding yourself short of motivation, remind yourself of what the purpose and value of learning are in the first place. You might even want to consider these 50 Productivity Hacks. Education and, more broadly, life is not about checking off achievements on a list. It is about your experiences of growth and learning, and how you utilize your opportunities to better your life and the lives of those around you. So, keep learning, keep growing, and keep preparing for your future!

    high school seniors

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