You’ve made it to the second semester of your senior year, have your college acceptance letters in hand, a less-taxing class schedule and…a serious case of Senioritis. With the college applications arms race starting earlier and earlier, the relief of being accepted to your dream college should feel like a weight off your shoulders. While the intense pressure may be off, you can’t and shouldn’t shuffle through the next few months without the same drive that made you successful thus far. We know it’s tempting to turn this into the Netflix and Slacking Off semester, so here are a few reasons why you really (really) shouldn’t, and why you should avoid the Senior Slump.
Whether you received your admission letter via email or in an ornate envelope, all offers of admission are contingent on your finishing high school in a satisfactory manner. Colleges expect (and inspect) that you finished high school in good standing, and they can and do revoke admission in cases where an incoming freshman’s last year of high school went awry without a good explanation. Colleges routinely review final transcripts to ensure successful completion of core courses and maintenance of GPA and having an inauspicious ending to your high school career raises red flags with admissions personnel, and may trigger a review of your acceptance. Imagine if you visited a college campus and were wooed by its abundant green space only to arrive on campus and the school decided to rip out its landscaping. You’d feel duped. Likewise, schools expect you to be the same person they admitted.
That awkward moment when you’ve done something your parents aren’t happy with and they ask you “What were you thinking?” and actually expect an answer? Colleges send similar letters to wayward high school seniors. Should your academic performance, such as GPA or honor roll standing change dramatically from admission to graduation, you will likely be sent a letter from your school asking you to explain this undesirable departure from your usual awesome self. Colleges understand that sometimes life happens. So, if you’ve experienced a life-altering event or an illness that affected your last semester, by all means explain these hardships. But you don’t want to type out the verbal equivalent of ¯_(ツ)_/¯
In many ways, your senior year of high school is both an end and a beginning. And how you finish high school may well be the way you start college. It’s foolhardy to assume that you’ll be able to magically shed poor habits the second your feet hit the floor of your new dorm room, and the best way to rid yourself of bad habits is to not pick them up in the first place. Remember all the work you’ve put into your academics the last dozen years — you don’t want to leave on a low note. Instead of taking mental time off because there’s so little work left to do, use this as motivation. You’re in the home stretch, you just need to maintain. Better yet, find a new project to help you focus. Now that the stressful application and testing period is done, you can play an intramural sport, take photos for the yearbook, or take up knitting — it’s your time!
Are you in your final semester of high school? How are you keeping motivated? Share your tips with us.