• Apply Yourself
  • Until College Admissions Decisions Arrive

Don't Catch Senioritis!

Demotivated student in classroom

Congratulations! It's over! You have finally been admitted to college! You might think it's time to kick back and take it easy. Think again.

Feeling like the best summer vacation ever is about to start? But you still have months of school ahead? You may be getting "senioritis."

The Urban Dictionary defines senioritis this way: "A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation."

However you might define it, senioritis is an affliction you don’t want to "catch." Here's why.

Your Last Months in High School are Important

Colleges that accept you will look closely at your academic performance in the second half of your senior year. They want to know if you have the discipline and maturity to maintain—or even improve—your grades and to resist the temptation to kick back and rest on your laurels. You could end up wasting all your hard work in high school if you drop the ball during your last year—and especially your last term.

Oops! There Goes Your Admission to College!

Let's say you are admitted to several great colleges. What if you decided not to study for exams, and your grades drop significantly? Did you know that most college acceptance letters stipulate that you must continue to do well in high school until you graduate? Yes, the college is within its rights to withdraw its acceptance offer if your academic performance dips too far below its standards.

Same goes for any senior pranks that get out of hand. If your high school takes disciplinary action against you or your name ends up in a police report, your college may be notified.

Graduated? OK—NOW You Can Celebrate!

It’s better to wait until after graduation to relax and reward yourself for all you've accomplished. But in the meantime, how can you stay curious and engaged in your learning during your last few months of high school?

6 Ways to Fight Senioritis

1. Accept the feelings. Senioritis can take many shapes. You might have a general feeling of malaise, have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, or even feel a loss of purpose now that you’ve attained the goal of getting into college. These feelings are normal.

2. Set some academic goals for the rest of the year. Setting goals will help you stay engaged in school intellectually and socially. For example, you could set out to achieve a certain score on an AP exam, end the year with straight As, or get involved in school activities and end-of-year festivities.

3. Pretend you’re in college boot camp. You can expect college to be more challenging and demanding than high school. So use this time to hone your study skills. Read more, especially in an academic area of interest. Take on an independent study project. Experiment with organizational and time management tools and apps.

4. Make some money. Consider getting a part-time job to help cover college expenses and gain practical skills and work experience you can use later on. Don’t forget to continue to search and apply for scholarships. If you plan to work while in college, this will give you experience juggling work and school demands.

5. Try something new. Show colleges you are focused on personal growth and willing to venture out of your comfort zone. Explore a passion, interest, or activity you didn’t have time for while you were busy with college applications. Perhaps it’s volunteering in your community, taking an art class, or trying a new sport. You might test drive a potential career or major by interviewing people working in that field or by finding an internship.

6. Savor your senior year. While you might feel totally "finished” with high school, it’s also the end of a significant stage of your life. Spend time with friends and family members, thank your teachers, and enjoy your last couple of months as a high school senior. Then celebrate all you’ve accomplished and start planning your new college life.

The information contained on the CollegeData website is for general informational purposes only and may not apply to you or your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content contained on the CollegeData website without consulting with your parents or guardians, high school counselors, admissions representatives or other college counseling professionals. We disclaim all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content on the CollegeData website.