How to Overcome Senioritis
With many college deadlines passing and the advent of another January, seniors are feeling excited about what lies ahead. You might be tempted to coast a little or maybe you’re feeling tired. A time-honored ritual, senioritis is very common, especially after a stressful admissions cycle. Here are some thoughts when thinking about how to overcome senioritis.
By SPRING PHAM
After you’ve finished your college admissions applications, it’s common to be in this mid-cycle limbo where you’re thinking…Okay, now what? There’s definitely nervousness and excitement: the last semester of high school and a bucket list to be completed. I totally get it. All things said, now is not the time to slack off just to put yourself through unnecessary stress. If you’re looking for some tips, keep reading for three tips on how to overcome senioritis while looking forward to your last semester of high school.
Three Tips for Overcoming Senioritis
1. Spring Break - Plan for More College Visits!
Spring Break usually coincides with when colleges start releasing decisions, so this is a good time to plan for more visits. Some schools will host weekend programs where prospective students can sleep in the dorms with a host. Others will have classes for you to sit in on. Seeing the bustle of the campus and taking it in at a local cafe is a tangible reminder of what lies ahead.
Also, college life forums on social media contain lots of insight into community life, dorms, freshman year, and laundry hacks. I recommend joining some online groups (for example: Reddit) and connecting with prospective classmates – you can easily find future friends that way. Once you know where you’re going to end up, you can also scope out that community.
Building anticipation and seeking connections are great ways to motivate yourself. You’re so close – don’t stop now!
2. Life Hacking
While you may feel done with academic content, there are probably interests or hobbies that you could pursue. Students might find it therapeutic to engage in art or music, which teach skills like mindfulness, empathy, active listening, patience, etc. These skills balance out academic strengths.
Perhaps you need more bootstrapping. Are there motivational books or podcasts that you could enjoy? Can you find solace and reflection in hearing from others’ struggles?
I’m not saying it’s not okay to rest – please do that, but sometimes, that feeling of burnout comes from not pursuing nourishing activities to balance everything out. For example, a student who has a passion for reading anime or going for runs in their free time might feel as if they can’t even do those. If you don’t fill up your bucket, how can you expect to keep pushing through?
The workload dramatically increases in college and in life afterwards (it’s not a bad thing – just a fact), so learning how to tend to that balance helps us take care of ourselves.
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3. Done is Better Than Perfect
Too often, perfectionism can be anxiety-provoking, which can make for a strong case of senioritis. If something can be done in 45 minutes rather than 90, then do that. Make it a habit not to overwork yourself by setting hard limits.
Other times, it’s helpful to tell yourself, “Okay, I’ll spend at least five minutes on this step of the work.” Establishing initial momentum is often the hardest part so finding a way to just get started is key.
But if that is still tricky, then every time you encounter an obstacle, start counting down from five down to zero. Our brains are wired to overthink and create complex narratives, so holding yourself accountable by using the countdown forces your brain to just do the action when it hits zero.
Habits do take consistency to work, so don’t get discouraged if it’s not on the dot every time. The more you’ll do it, the more you’ll form those needed brain connections!
Going Down in Flames
So maybe, your grades are dropping, and you’re in the red. Don’t panic. It happens, but it can result in rescinded admissions (typically for failing grades/grades that fall too low). Remember that your teachers are there to support you, so don’t be afraid to talk to them and establish goals while there’s still time. Teachers are more than happy to come up with interesting projects or other ways to evaluate your learning.
Sometimes, you need to be honest with yourself. Are you acting in accordance with your values? It can take hitting the bottom to realize that we’ve made a mistake.
Try to relax: open communication is key. Gather a support network, and keep up the hard work. Before you know it, you’ll be across the finish line. Congrats – you’re almost there, and I believe in you!