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What Is Senioritis? Need-To-Know Causes And Cures

Updated: July 12, 2022 | Published: August 5, 2020

Updated: July 12, 2022

Published: August 5, 2020


Everyone has their own limit regarding how much energy and effort they can put into an endeavor. Students often reach their limits during senior year in what is known as senioritis. What is senioritis? How can you avoid it? Is it even real?

Let’s take a look at all you need to know so that the feelings of fatigue don’t threaten everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve up until this point!

Tired high school senior laying down on the bed
Image by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash

What Is Senioritis And Is It Real?

While senioritis isn’t a disease you can catch from someone else, it has become the name for a feeling that truly does plague many students near the end of their educational journey. Put simply, it’s a decline in motivation that can actually cause real detrimental outcomes if not addressed properly.

While students may shrug it off and think that it’s just what happens, parents and teachers have every right to feel concerned. The signs and effects of giving up too early can affect a student’s enrollment in college or overall GPA.

For example, many colleges hold a policy that incoming freshmen must maintain a certain GPA to become a student at their institution. As such, allowing grades to dramatically slip could ruin your chances at attending the college of your dreams (even if you’ve already been accepted).

It’s important to continue to dedicate time, effort, and perseverance all the way to graduation so that you can absorb all the information in high school that will prove valuable in college.

What Can Cause Senioritis?

For every senior suffering from senioritis, there’s a different story as to what caused the lack of motivation. Here’s a look at some reasons why senioritis happens:

1. Achievement

If you’re wondering how a culture and desire aimed toward achievement can be a downside, consider the idea that too much of one thing may lead you in the opposite direction. When you’ve been on the path to achieve so much in such a little time, you may feel fatigue or burned out. For high school students, getting accepted into the college of their choice may have felt like a life-long goal for which they’ve maxed out their energy. If you fit into this category and feel senioritis coming on, remind yourself why you started and stay on track. Understand that this is the last push to the finish line and it’s just as important as the beginning to keep pushing with your head up.

2. End-Goal Mindset

It’s all too often that students and parents look at education as the means to achieve a goal. If that goal is getting into a college, it may feel like you’ve done all you need to when you get accepted. However, education isn’t meant to be taken seriously just for the end goal. It’s a continuous journey that can provide benefits at every step of the way.

3. Boredom

Traditional methods of education can get boring when learning styles go unnoticed. Both a teacher and student play a role in the liveliness of subject matter. If you’re a student that feels bored by a class, then try to find ways to make it fun that are within your own creative control. Create games to learn material or challenge a peer to see who can get a better grade on the next exam.

4. Denial / Fear

Life after high school can seem scary since it’s entering the unknown. So, if you feel a sense of denial that your primary education is coming to a close, you may want to give up as a way to make it feel like you control when it’s over.

5. Anticipation

Although it seems like the opposite of denial, anticipation and denial have just a fine line between them. Both focus on feelings about the unknown future. With anticipation, students may feel like college will pave the way for more freedom (which is true, especially if you choose to enroll in an online university). So, while you eagerly await graduation, you may start to slip focus from the tasks at hand for finishing up the year. Don’t get caught in this trap!

6. Convenience

The idea of senioritis provides students with a convenient excuse to define the reason they are checking out before the game is over. The truth is that your effort is in your control, and if you do claim to have senioritis and see negative effects, no one else can help you gain redemption. That’s why it’s so crucial to remind yourself of what your education means to you and how staying focused now will pay dividends in the future. Give it your all knowing that you’ll have some time off for summer before you start school again or enter into a career!

What Are The Symptoms Of Senioritis?

Are you afraid that you or someone you love has senioritis? If you or said senior feel any of the following, then it may be a sign:

  • You don’t care about your grades
  • You stop going to class
  • You think your effort levels don’t matter anymore
  • You have no motivation to do homework or fulfill assignments

How To Cure Senioritis

Before you continue down the path of no return, try these tricks and tips to get re-energized and finish the year strong.

1. Choose Challenging Courses

If you take classes that are challenging to you, then you’ll feel the pressure to stay focused to do well. Also, it’s nice to find aspects of each subject that you find interesting so you can enjoy learning.

2. Focus On The Senior Experience

This is your last year of high school. Whatever comes next will be a totally new experience, whether it is entering the workforce or earning a higher education degree. Take this time to revel in the experience of being a senior and using all the lessons you’ve learned throughout your education to your advantage in your final year.

3. Commit To A Career-Focused Job

Feel the excitement about what’s coming next and commit to a job or internship that is related to whatever you want to study. This way, you will feel extra responsibility and understand what is at stake for your future now.

4. Don’t Obsess Over College

The college admissions process can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Create a timeline and organize to-do lists according to deadlines. When you have a firm handle on what you need to accomplish, it will make it less stressful so that you don’t ruin your senior experience with stress.

School planners and to do list to stay motivated and organized
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Steps To Avoid Senioritis

Keep in mind these useful strategies to avoid senioritis in the first place.

  • Set Goals: Setting short- and long-term goals will help you to maintain motivation and diminish any feelings of senioritis.
  • Reward Yourself: Take stock of all you’ve done so far and give yourself credit! Burnout happens most when you work too hard without breaks or noticing your accomplishments. Be sure to reward yourself for what you do well.
  • Take A Break: It’s always important to take a break to recharge. Whether that means taking study breaks or shifting gears between different tasks, be sure to allow yourself to replenish energy after diminishing it.
  • Change Up Your Study Location: Your location matters! If you have the privilege of choosing where to study, then try to switch up study locations so you feel re-energized by new surroundings.

Does Senioritis Matter?

Imagine training for a year to run a marathon, accomplishing all the goals you set for your time, and then asking if running your hardest matters on race day.

Losing your stride at the final hour could cost you everything you’ve already worked for. Senioritis does matter because of its consequences.

Using senioritis as an excuse to give up early doesn’t mean anything, but potentially losing your spot in college or missing out on a scholarship or decreasing your odds at landing an internship could all create negative and avoidable outcomes.

Never, Never, Never Give Up

You’re a senior in high school with goals and accomplishments. Don’t let the fatigue or lack of motivation of senioritis stop you now. You’ve gotten this far, and you have a lot to look forward to.

Graduating high school means you can attend online college (like the University of the People), go to a traditional university, take a gap year, study abroad, enter a job, or do whatever else you may want! The way you enter your next stage of life depends on how you exit this one — so make it count!