tjTOMORROW: How to Avoid Senioritis

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photo courtesy of blogs.northwood.edu

Jefferson seniors often experience symptoms of “senioritis” in their second semester. Senioritis can be avoided with a few simple tips.

Anjali Khanna and Stav Nachum

First semester is spent completing countless college applications, getting lost among the endless homework assignments and exams, and overall finishing scholarship and honors essays. Yet this week marks the start of second semester, and for seniors this means the end of most of the stress at Jefferson. Some students have already gotten into colleges, of those, many have already committed. The incentive to continue the hard work ethic of the last three and a half years is slowly dwindling. In the blink of an eye grades begin to slip.

Senioritis is a common ailment among high school seniors, but it does not have to be. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive of wearing old athletic t-shirts, track pants, sweatpants and sweatshirts, and (most importantly) a lack of studying. Some students even feature repeated absences and a dismissive attitude. The disease is very easy to catch, and the only known cure for this phenomenon is graduation. Yet if the condition escalates and grades slip too dramatically, offers of acceptance will be rescinded. Thus, here to help the seniors currently suffering from “senioritis,” tjTODAY has some simple steps to complete assignments and score highly on exams even amidst a senior-addled brain.

1. Set Attainable Goals
The first step to avoiding senioritis is as simple as grabbing a pen and paper and write down the goals you want to accomplish before graduation in June. The goals don’t need to be anything immense such as curing cancer or becoming an Olympic level athlete. Instead, tell yourself you want to maintain certain grade levels, volunteer more hours, or train next year’s officers for any clubs you are involved in. This simply consists of listing normal tasks but making them into pointed objectives to keep you motivated.

2. Make a Plan of Action and Stay Organized
Once you write down the goals, it is time to develop a strategy to achieve them before your graduation. Buy a planner, create a Google calendar, or download an organization app on your smartphone. Record all assignment deadlines and exams so as not to forget any assignment, no matter how trivial. Also include athletic events, club meetings, events or even nights out with friends. Ensure to block out time for training, studying and organizing in order to stay on top of work while setting up reminders to ensure you don’t forget anything. Motivate yourself by remembering that once you complete the obligations you have you can take part in leisure activities.

3. Take On A New Activity
Once you have submitted all your applications and finished midterms, there is plenty of time to relax and the temptation to watch TV is exceptionally alluring. To prevent this complacency, make sure that when you set the goals and block out time for activities you include something new–maybe even an exciting project. Is there any activity you have always wanted to try? Any clubs you wanted to join since freshman year but didn’t have the time to? Now is the time to start. Explore everything. Start a blog, take up a new sport, start volunteering or coaching your younger siblings soccer team. Keep yourself occupied constructively and seize what may be your last opportunity to get involved locally.

4. Celebrate Your Friendships
Remember, if you feel the effects of senioritis during your second semester, your friends probably are feeling the same way. Second semester of your senior year should be a time to grow closer to your high school friends so as to build lifelong relationships that will last through your college years. Join new activities with people that you will have a good time with, and don’t be afraid to branch out and make new friends. Make a goal to make amends with someone from your grade with whom you have fought with or disagreed, and channel your focus into being kind to everyone.

5. Study Smart
In addition, keep in mind that every Advanced Placement (AP) class you take will make the workload in your first year of college easier. If you plan on majoring in a certain area of study, aim for high grades and AP scores in those classes, so you will be able to test out of some of the more difficult “weed out” courses of your freshman year curriculum. Now is really the time to consider your possible career paths and explore the options offered within your university, and a little bit of early planning will go along way when the time to decide your major arrives. Although second semester will not be nearly as stressful as previous years at Jefferson, make sure you do not forget the time management and study skills you’ve spent your entire high school career building- you’ll need them again in college.

6. Remember That This College Is Not The Ultimate Destination
So you’ve gotten into your first choice school- but what now? Just because you graduated from a high school like Jefferson, it does not necessarily mean that all of your college courses will be a breeze. Plan and strategize your courses for second semester to put you ahead in the future. If you want to go to graduate school, law school or medical school, you will soon be expected to apply again to another “dream school,” with a process much more selective between you and your classmates from college. A lot of seniors forget that undergraduate university is a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and should not be seen as a final destination. Simply going to college won’t get you your dream job, it is what you do in college that will.

7. Have Fun
From senior prom, to graduation to senior beach week- you are about to have what many consider to be the best memories of high school.Treat yourself and make every occasion special. Spend time on Pinterest looking for prom dresses, booking a beach house on the Outer Banks, or planning a huge graduation party for the end of the year. After all, you’ll only be a second semester senior once- make it count.