Being a high school senior is tough. Yes, of course, this often ends up being your favorite year of high school and one you will cherish forever—but this year is also academically, emotionally, and physically exhausting.
As the school year drags on, you’re going to find it harder to focus and, like so many students, you may find you fall victim to the infamous “senioritis”: an affliction born out of boredom, stress, and anticipation that feeds on your relief of finally being admitted to college. And after three years of high school topped by an intense college search, who wouldn’t want to coast a little, amirite?
But senioritis can cost you. For example, if you stop trying in your classes, your grades will go down. And tanking grades make it harder—if not impossible—to win scholarships. Worse yet, they can actually lead to your college revoking your acceptance. (It happens!)
Now, before you panic, remember that even the best students succumb to the sickness, and it’s truly not as hard to get over as you may think. As a current high school senior, I can admit that senioritis is already getting the best of me, and I’ve only been in school for a month. However, knowing that I would fall ill quickly this year, I have made a plan to get out of the senioritis slump. Here are my top 10 tips on getting rid of this disease:
1. Work hard Work really hard
This is your last chance to prove to colleges that you want to be on their campus and are willing to work for it. Don’t miss out! Take advantage of the opportunities available to you now while you still have them, whether it’s enrolling in AP or dual-credit courses, working outside of school, or volunteering in the community. This is the year to make a huge mark on your transcript and résumé. Don’t let your grades start slipping now. Even if some of your classes are easier than they have been the past three years, that isn’t an excuse to slack off.
2. Get involved
You won’t be a high schooler for much longer, so get involved as much as you can now! Join new clubs, cheer in the pep block at a few football games, go to prom, audition for the school play—anything you may never have the chance to do again once you graduate. As a high school student, I know it’s easy to overlook many of the opportunities for us to get involved. Instead, let’s take advantage of them. You’ll have more fun and you’ll have some great stuff to add to your college and scholarship applications.
3. Keep it up
College is just around the corner, so don’t give your future school any excuse to drop your scholarships or pull your admission. Your colleges are keeping an eye on you, and they’re going to expect you to maintain your GPA as well as your commitment to sports, clubs, and community projects.
4. Stay healthy
Maintaining your physical and mental health is critical during your senior year. You’re about to be on your own; you’re going to have to figure out how to have a stable, healthy diet while staying sane through hours of tougher homework. Each day, give yourself the opportunity for a quick workout, at least one healthy and fresh meal, and an hour of alone time to calm down and relieve your daily stress. (Hellooo, meditation apps.) Trust me, this may not sound like much, but it really pays off in the long run.
5. Make a daily checklist
Giving yourself at least three goals to achieve per day will help keep you motivated and on task. Make sure your goals are specific and realistic, even if they are as simple as “write down something that made me smile today” or “text Logan.” Completing tasks will make your days go by easier after the feeling of accomplishment sets in.
6. Talk to your guidance counselor
Your guidance counselor knows what senioritis looks like: they have seen it many times before! They also might have some amazing advice to help you get over it. Guidance counselors also know what colleges are looking for and will do everything they can to show schools that you’re serious about your education.
7. Remember the end is in sight
When you’re super stressed about your college search and applications, remember that this is one big push that will end as soon as those deadlines roll around. When you see your crush hanging out with someone at lunch, know that these are your last days of high school. Don’t let petty problems get in the way of your success and happiness.
8. Go out on a high note
As sad as it sounds, once you graduate, you may never see some of your classmates again. Make the most of your time with them and be the kind of person they’ll enjoy running into at your 10-year reunion. Smile when they walk by in the hallway, invite them to a study party, maybe even ask them to grab some ice cream after school. Some of them will appreciate your gesture more than you will ever know—even if they decline your invitation. And this all goes for your teachers too. Be appreciative!
9. Crush senioritis before it starts
Don’t let senioritis take over your life. As soon as you notice a loss of interest in school, be proactive in getting back on track. Go in after school for homework help, or just talk to your teacher. When you start to slack, stop. Give yourself rewards for finishing your homework or studying for a test.
10 Live in the moment
Yes, you really are a senior this year. You are the top dog; every underclassman is looking up to you. Live it up! I know it’s easy to get lost in your excitement about the next step in your education, but you need to stay focused. This is your last year of high school. Make it one to remember.