College x

Unlike in high school, slacking off in your last year of college can really tank your post-grad plans.

Academic Apathy

Unlike in high school, slacking off in your last year of college can really tank your post-grad plans.

By Annie Farrell, James Madison University


Senioritis is something all college students remember from their high school days.

As twelfth graders who had already been accepted to various colleges, senioritis was completely inevitable. The severity of the affliction would vary from student to student, with some only slightly dialing back the effort put into mundane assignments, to others simply skipping classes altogether. While the phenomenon has become accepted as a part of high school culture, it’s important that it does not enter the world of college education.

While high school seniors might think that no one will care if their grades slip a little bit just before graduation, that mindset could be far more detrimental to a college senior. The difference between senior year of high school and senior year of college is that the next step is far less clear cut for college students. College seniors might not have a job lined up after graduation, and a dip in their GPAs could potentially make it much harder for them to secure employment.

Image Via Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Understanding how harmful college senioritis could be will allow students to be far more likely to take the proper steps in order to avoid it at all costs. By taking the following tips into consideration, college seniors can have a better chance of ending their college careers on a high note, instead of falling flat.

1. Take Classes That Interest You

Being engaged in the subject material you sign up for will make it much easier to want to participate in the class and strive for a better grade. Taking classes that have relevance to your potential career will be able to keep your attention far better than a general education class that you are being forced to take.

Taking an interesting or career-relevant class will also have more meaning to you than any other. The temptation to succumb to senioritis and slack off will be much less persistent if the course material grabs your attention and is able to get you excited about your future career.

2. Visit Your Advisor or Career Center

The best way to keep your focus is to take advantage of professional resources. Most college campuses have some sort of career center where you can go and start to plan your life after graduation. These types of visits can ward off the collegiate ennui, because advisors remind students about how important senior year is to their grades, potential employers and their careers in general.

A career advisor could also be an essential asset in overcoming senioritis, because they will be an outside source of motivation. The advisors can help you keep up with your work by making you realize how essential your final GPA is. They will also be there to keep you in line if they see you starting to forget your priorities. Visiting a Career Center could be the most helpful way to overcome senioritis, because the support and encouragement from an advisor could be enough of a motivation to make sure you are not slacking off.

3. Make a Bucket List

Although it is important to keep focused on school work as your college career comes to a close, it’s also essential to make sure that you are still able to enjoy senior year. After all, this will be your last chance to fully revel in your campus and all it has to offer. Try to make a bucket list with your friends that will allow you to have a nice balance between having fun and working hard.

In addition to taking advantage of all of the fun and unique activities on campus, your bucket list can also be a way for you to begin to outline your future career and academic goals. For every fun activity you add to the list, add another more professional goal as well. Doing so, will allow you to have fun, while not losing sight of the most important end goal of getting that diploma.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Of course, school and grades are important, but health is far more important than any grade that could be given. Senioritis arises when students are exhausted and lack the amount of energy their courses require, so they decide to slack off and disregard their work instead. If all college students work to treat their bodies the right way, then it will be much easier to be successful.

Taking care of yourself includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, eating at the proper times of day and getting enough exercise. All of these practices are of the utmost importance when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. If your body is not healthy, your mind will not be either, therefore making it more difficult to stay focused and engaged in your classes.

Senioritis does not need to have a presence in your life. College seniors should keep in mind all of the hard work they have done in their previous years of college, and use it as motivation to allow their success and focus to carry them through graduation. With so little time left in school, students must actively push away the temptation of senioritis in order to ensure a more successful future.

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