Senior year is an incredibly exciting time for high schoolers – you’ll be applying for colleges, attending your last prom and homecoming, take your senior portraits, and graduate!
However, another inevitable (and excruciating) factor of senior year is a condition that all seniors seem to be afflicted with toward the beginning of second semester (or perhaps even sooner). This condition is most commonly known as “senioritis.”
In case you’ve been living under a rock, senioritis is essentially a lack of motivation to accomplish anything – including schoolwork, projects, or maybe even scheduling social time with your peers – that worsens the more you progress through senior year. It’s a difficult, yet manageable part of your fourth year of high school.
Here’s how I’ve learned to cope with my senioritis, and how you can, too:
- Find your balance between work and fun.
When bitten by the senioritis bug, the most common excuse that I’ve caught myself say is, “I have so much work to do, yet I prefer to hang out with my friends/go on social media/binge-watch The Office/take a nap until I see daylight.” In simpler terms, I see my schoolwork as an obligation and would much rather be doing more fun or relaxing activities.
However, this mindset has only created a more toxic, lazy work environment for me. To cope with this, I had to learn what my balance was between accomplishing my tasks for the day and having some time for myself. For me, this looks like allocating 2 hours after school to take care of myself and my mental health (taking a nap, watching YouTube videos, etc.) and then spending the rest of the night finishing assignments, reading, etc.
When you find your personal balance between work and fun, your senioritis will not be dragging you down; rather, it will help you find the time out of your day to wind down and practice self-care.
- Give yourself a small goal each day.
And by “small goal,” I mean “extremely realistic and practical.” A few examples of small goals I’ve given myself in the past include giving a compliment to 5 people, finishing my calculus assignments, feeding my dog Peeka, or even reading a book of my choice for 15 minutes before I go to bed.
These small goals allow you to appreciate the small victories in life, no matter how ordinary they seem. They also help you find the joy in your daily routine – something that you may have forgotten during high school and want to rekindle before you move on to college.
Remember to reward yourself after accomplishing your small goals! This reinforces within your brain that setting and meeting goals makes you feel more satisfied with yourself and greatly boosts your self-confidence.
- For every moment spent not doing your homework, spend time with your loved ones.
Oftentimes we forget that our family is there for us amidst our crazy lives during senior year. We’re months away from graduating and moving out of the house to study somewhere else, so it’s important to never neglect your family and to make sure they feel appreciated, whether you’re 1 year or 1 month away from moving out.
I challenge you to spend every moment with your family members for every moment you are not at work or completing your assignments. This will undoubtedly push you outside of your comfort zone – especially if you are not very close with your parents – but this will strengthen the bond between you and your family and reassure your parents that they are still at the top of your priority list, no matter how busy you may seem!
- Use your leftover senioritis energy to work on a project you’ve always wanted to accomplish.
Have you ever wanted to write a book? How about create a painting as magnificent as Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to film a documentary on the students at your high school? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of conducting research on a societal or scientific issue that’s been looming over your head?
Whatever your dream project or creation may be, use the remainder of your senioritis energy to start and finish it!
Personally I have always wanted to write a book, so I have been investing heaps of time writing a book that I would love to have published someday. If you’re not as big of a bookworm as I am, then feel free to use your creative juices on another project. The sky has no limits!
- Download a countdown app for the next big event happening in your life.
One way that I love to pump myself up for the rest of senior year is to use a countdown app on my iPhone and count the days until the next exciting event in my life.
I like to use the free app “Countdown,” which allows users to customize the background screen of their app to the event they are most looking forward to (i.e. prom, GradNite, traveling, spring break, graduation, birthday party, etc.). However, feel free to use any other countdown app of your choosing!
Right now on my Countdown app, I have “Prom” as the event I am anxiously waiting for. In the past, I have counted the days until my birthday party, Christmas, winter break, and many more special occasions and events.
Throughout your senior year, it can be easy to get caught up in your everyday routine and eventually lead a monotonous life. However, by counting down the days until your next big gig or any other huge event, you’re making your senior year that much more invigorating.
- Mix “homework” and “social life” together by doing your assignments with your friends.
If your senioritis urges you to forgo your classwork and instead reach for the car keys to hang out with your best buds, consider setting up a homework date with your friends!
During these homework/social sessions, I recommend allocating 20 minutes (or less) exclusively to socializing and catching up on the latest gossip, and then afterward spending the rest of your time completing your homework. If you all have the same classes, then you can work together on each assignment and tutor one another in case one of you didn’t comprehend the lecture.
This way, you’re killing 2 birds with 1 stone: having a great time with your closest friends and finishing your homework.
- Apply for scholarships.
Typically senioritis hits after you’ve finished applying to universities, so why not apply for extra cash for college once the college application process is over?
Although scholarship applications may be tedious, it is still important to apply to as many as you can. You may lose social time with your friends, but you wouldn’t want your parents to lose a huge sum of money for your education.
If you’re looking for scholarship websites, I recommend reading my post on Websites All College-Bound Students Should Know, where I share my favorite websites to search for scholarships and much more.
- Remember to have fun!
Senior year is a time for growth and spending your last “hoorah” with those whom you hold dear to your heart, so don’t forget to make time for activities and hobbies that make you happy.
Go swimming with your friends. Play video games. Re-read your favorite book. Spend time with your mom and dad. Take your dog on walks around the park. Try the newest recipe at Starbucks. Dance and sing to your favorite music. Watch Netflix when you have free time.
However you prefer to have fun, always manage your time wisely and enjoy your senior year. It goes by in a blink of an eye.