They say that time seems to speed up as you go from freshmen year to senior year of high school. It’s almost as if you were on a roller coaster that slowly inches its way to the top. Then all of a sudden, it’s senior year and you race through it so fast that you barely notice what’s passing by you. Deadlines, events, grades, and meetings all seem to come and go without warning.
Senior year is packed full of emotions for everyone. Some people are bittersweet about graduation and take their time to say goodbye. At the same time, others cannot wait to leave and start the next chapter of their lives. One commonality is that ALL SENIORS are at risk of catching the heavy feeling of senioritis. This sudden decline of motivation or performance can creep up like a monster in the night or surprise you like a fly suddenly smacking you at the back of your throat on this roller coaster.
In the fear and anxiety of senioritis, I had taken care of a lot of college prep in the fall semester. Nonetheless, I had been consistently going hard for four years, and the last semester of my senior year felt like I was just on autopilot. I had so much on my plate: AP/Dual credit classes, cosmetology, art competitions, student council, rotary club, peer tutoring, FBLA, VP of NTHS, and NHS, to name a few responsibilities.
For me, senioritis came in hand-in-hand with my burnout. I always felt the pressure to perform well and make excellent grades. Some of my motivations were: making my family proud, by pride in being a “successful” dyslexic, my desire to go to college, and my innate desire to learn. At some point, I adopted the philosophy that if I wasn’t trying hard, then I wasn’t trying.
So~ My spring semester I really learned how to say no to people and prioritize my time. I kept my grades consistent my telling myself that I had worked so hard to get them where they are now, I don’t want to mess that up when graduation is just out of reach. Still, deadlines flew by, and I was too tired to try and retake the tests to get a better score. I missed out on a lot of scholarship opportunities and chances to improve my SAT/ACT scores. I ended up isolating myself a bit from my extracurriculars to recharge and have the energy for class.
Looking back, I wish I have mixed feelings about how I wrangled with senioritis. Some days I would give in and decide to stay in bed rather than try to study, avoid my SAT books, and generally gave up hope in doing better. Other days, I had fire and spite fueling me into keeping everything float by doing way to much in a few hours.
Some advice I would give to any senior trying not give in to senioritis, or to have a better handle on it:
- Get things done EARLY!!! I am forever grateful that I took care of so much in the fall rather than waiting until the spring. I beat my senioritis, which saved me a lot of stress come graduation.
- Figure out what motivates you to do well and put a reminder of it somewhere you see every day: I had stick notes all over my bedroom doors with motivational quotes or some goofy things my friends have said to keep me going on hard days. I’ve also known many people who put pictures of loved ones on their lock screens. Whatever works for you.
- Have accountability buddies: There’s something about being around other people with the same goal that seems to help you be productive. In the same sense that coffee shops have a friendly atmosphere to study in- being surrounded by peers who are also trying to stay motivated helps with one’s productivity.
- SELF CARE!!: Give your mind constant breaks to keep it from shutting down on you. Take walks. Give yourself rewards and acknowledge your achievements. Now, when I have particularly hard days or succeed on a test, I treat myself to boba. I also try daily self-care, like drinking a lot of water and hyping myself up for the day. We all want to feel seen and our efforts acknowledged. Why not do it for ourselves?
Just bits of motivation/Reminders (in case they help with perspective)
- You are ALMOST THERE! Graduation is right around the corner, and you can finish off strong!
- Your education is an investment in yourself. It’s to help you as you go on in life with tools you may need in the future. Do yourself a favor and finish. No one else can or should do it for you. You do this for yourself.
Everyone is different, and you don’t always anticipate what will happen on this roller coaster. Regardless, time is ticking by, and you have the power to use that time how you see fit.
Best of wishes to you all! You’ve got this!