How to Combat Senioritis

With college application season coming to a close, many seniors around the country, myself included, are losing motivation to finish the year strong. As application decisions start to roll in, I’ve realized that I’ve started to reason with myself: “Okay, so if I turn in this big assignment on time and then these small assignments a day late and pass this test with a 7/10, then I can successfully but barely scrape by for the rest of the semester.” Of course, this isn’t a good way to function in school. Senioritis, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” If you resonate with this definition and you aren’t a senior yet… strap in, because you’re in for a long ride.

How do I know if I’m suffering from Senioritis?
Some of the most common symptoms of Senioritis are procrastination, lack of motivation, sleep deprivation, and chronic drowsiness. These are a result of spending too much time checking your emails for an update from the schools you applied to. Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, identifying the problem is the first step to solving it. So, follow me as we go through the journey of treating this infection.

Treatment Options

Becoming more involved in a club or extracurricular activity can help mitigate the effects of Senioritis. Sometimes all you need is a distraction from the responsibilities of being a senior in high school, and participating in a fun activity is just the right distraction. There are some amazing clubs on campus that are always doing something interesting you can participate in. For instance, the Black Student Union has some fun meetings coming up during Black History Month. Art for Mental Health Club also has some fascinating meetings coming up as the semester progresses.

Another way to treat Senioritis is to get a head start on prepping for those first couple of weeks of college. What I mean by this is to hone in or even perfect your study skills, whether this means finally trying to figure out how to use Notion, or even just buying new pens and trying out the Cornell Notes method. Not only will this prepare you for college by making sure you know how to study and that you know what works for you, but it also introduces a new way of learning that may be more interesting and fun to you, thus increasing your motivation toward school. It’s a win-win for everyone, really.

On the topic of learning as a way to cope with Senioritis, starting a personal learning project has been one of the only ways to keep me motivated and focused enough in school to finish the year off strong (we will see if that motivation continues throughout the semester though). Towards the end of last semester, as I knew that Senioritis would hit me soon, I found some free courses and lectures I could watch and participate in that related to my future major. I watched hours of philosophy lectures from Harvard and Yale professors to prepare myself for the types of work that I will be getting in college. Not only did this introduce me to the topics I will learn more about in college, but it also got me thinking, “I should write something – a paper or an article or an essay maybe.” So since the beginning of January, I have been working on a small series of essays on religion and feminism and how they intersect. That has been one of the best ways for me to increase motivation this semester.

My last tip for fighting Senioritis is to indulge in fun content regarding the future. Whether this is watching dorm tour videos or finding a new book to read, finding a new way to entertain yourself can, for some, spark a new sense of creativity in you. During the research portion of making my college application list, I chose not to look at the cosmetic aspect of college, this being dorms, dining halls, and campus facilities. I didn’t want to be distracted from the important things in a school, like courses offered and clubs on campus. But now that the Senioritis has kicked in, I’ve been spending my time watching dorm tours and campus tours of the schools I’ve applied to while I do my homework. This has allowed me to both distract myself from the stresses of senior year and get myself excited for what’s to come in the fall.


So, to my fellow seniors, I hope this article helped you find a way to cope with the fact that high school is coming to a close and we are finally becoming adults. And for the underclassmen and juniors reading this, get ready for what will hopefully be one of the most exciting and rewarding years of your academic career. Keep up the great work, you earned this!