Finish High School Strong: 13 Tips for Defeating Senioritis
Catching senioritis is common right around the time you go into your first day of senior year. You’re not the first student who’s had to contend with it, and you won’t be the last. While it can seem harmless on the surface, it’s really not.
Many poor decisions made during a student’s senior year of high school can follow them around for the rest of their lives. You don’t want that to be how your life goes. In the following article, we’ll be giving you the steps that you need to take to keep that from happening. As you read through each of these, take note of what you’re already doing as well as where you could improve. Let’s begin!
1. Volunteer for Worthy Causes
One of the best ways to get a taste for the real world is to see how people in need are able to take care of themselves. Many volunteer organizations exist to help the needy and the homeless. This can give you some sobering insight into what life is like with the wrong set of circumstances.
That said, a cause doesn’t have to be directed at the poor or the homeless to be considered worthy. Find things you can champion. Things you can be sincere about. Throw yourself into those endeavors by experiencing the fulfilling feeling of making a difference.
2. Mind Your Health
You are going to need plenty of energy to finish high school strong. That means physical as well as mental. Your health is important, and you shouldn’t take it for granted just because you’re young and your metabolism is firing on all cylinders.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected can happen to you no matter how old or young you are. So do yourself a favor. Eat right. Get out there and run or jog or go for brisk walks and hikes and mountain bike rides. Whatever you can do to get your heart rate up, your blood pumping, and your muscles sore, is a good thing.
3. Get or Stay Organized
Have you never been the type of person who functioned well with organization? If so, it’s time to change all that. See, high school passes you along without a lot of high expectations. Many teachers are placed with an overwhelming burden of proof before they can fail a student when the simple issue is he or she won’t turn in their work.
Not saying that’s you; in fact, it’s an extreme example that nevertheless happens routinely. But in college, it doesn’t. Professors have no obligation to pass you, and they won’t do it if you don’t put forth some effort and show improvement. Furthermore, with a full-time class schedule, there’s going to be a lot coming at you each week. It’s time to get organized or to double down on your skills if you already are.
4. Discuss Any Malaise With Your Guidance Counselor
Look, you’ve been through a lot to get to this point. Anyone can start to feel burned out. Acknowledge that feeling if it’s coming your way, but don’t let it overwhelm you. If you need someone to speak with, schedule an appointment with your guidance counselor.
These individuals are more than just test proctors. They also know a lot about high school students and their growth and development. They see people go through the senioritis malaise every single year. Rely on their experience.
They can be a listening ear, a source of sound advice, and a wonderful boost of encouragement. Don’t try to go it alone!
5. Attack Your Worst Habits
There is a saying that rings very true to us. You are only as good as your worst habits. Think about that for a moment. You can have all the best habits in the world when it comes to diet, exercise, rest, and recreation. But if those are accompanied by horrible habits that run parallel to them, they might as well not exist.
Think about the person who is able to give up alcohol but still needs a cigarette. The person who runs three miles per day only to consume thousands of extra calories per week in junk food. None of the good habits exhibited are useful because they’re being outweighed by the bad.
Realize that you are a creature of habit. You’ll have good ones. You’ll have bad ones. If the bad ones do more damage than the good ones do good, then you’re on a crash course for disaster.
6. Start Earning College Credit Now
Many school districts have gone to allowing college credit before you ever step foot on a college campus. You can do this with classes outside your normal high school curriculum. Some districts even enable their students to graduate high school with a diploma and an associate’s degree at the same time.
You don’t have to be that far ahead of the game, but there’s no reason why you can’t have poked your foot into the door. It’ll give you the momentum that you need to stay the course and ward off senioritis altogether.
7. Create a College Blueprint for Year One
One of the big reasons that seniors get consumed by senioritis is that they are dwelling too much on the monotony and boredom of their present. When that occurs, they end up not challenging themselves. As those feelings start to settle in, get creative.
Think about where you’re going to go to school. Consider possible majors. Try to envision who your friends will be. Will you be primarily hanging out with high school chums, or will you want to reinvent yourself completely with a new look, new friends, new interests?
Visualizing the future can get you excited about taking it on. From there, it becomes very easy to worry less about the boredom of the present and more about future excitement.
8. Up Your Networking Game
There are tons of great reasons to spend your senior year networking. One is that you will be able to establish valuable connections that could lead to a future job or internship. Another is that you could end up falling in love with something you didn’t even know you liked.
Yet another is that you could become eligible for a local scholarship you’re not aware of, or simply up the number of people you can send an invitation to for high school graduation. (Cha-ching!)
As you network, make sure you don’t get it confused with social networking. The platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are fine in this regard, but they’re not going to bring you as close to someone as a handshake and eye contact will.
9. Avoid Serious Relationships
It may seem a tad Draconian, but you could do a lot worse than break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend during that senior year of high school. For starters, you can get lost in a daydream that doesn’t jibe with reality. The idea that you’re really in love and that you understand that word romantically in its fullest capacity.
Secondly, it can cause pivotal moments of temptation that might lead to unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, or unwanted photographing and cyber-bullying. Happens every year, so don’t think you’re immune to it just because you’ve known your significant other a long time and you’re a mature senior.
The best thing you can do for your future is to make a clean break of it. Open yourself to the social and romantic possibilities that school has to offer. If it is meant to be, it’ll come back to you later. You owe it to yourself to explore the type of person you’re meant to be and meant to be with.
10. Make Sleep a Priority
You get less sleep as you get older. Partly because your body needs less and partly because responsibility refuses to let you have as much. Well, guess what. You’re about to have a big heaping dose of responsibility, so it’s time to prepare yourself by being rested up going into it.
This is truly the last time in your life you’ll get to sleep all day if you want (thank you, weekends), and while we’re not saying you should, you should definitely make sure your body is getting the recommended eight hours each night.
11. Keep a Busy Schedule
It’s hard to get caught up in time wasters like Senior Skip Day and frittering away your weekends cruising through town when you have something to keep you busy and productive. Buy some planners. Start filling those bad boys up. Plan something fun and unique every day.
Get to know your town. Enroll in a self-defense class. Get a job as a lifeguard or at a retail store. Take part in church campaigns or functions. If church isn’t your thing, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Do things to build your resume, and you will be a stronger candidate for local scholarships, internships, jobs, etc.
12. Find the Time to Socialize
You can’t be all work and no play. You do need to find the time to get together with friends, hang out, be silly, and even break a few rules as long as you’re not putting yourself or others in danger. Think about some of the best “good clean fun” you can come up with. Be available for those times, but make sure the rest of your schedule is packed with useful, productive activities so you don’t run the risk of knocking yourself off track in a moment of weakness.
13. Explore What You Think You Want to Be
College is not for people who want to figure things out. It’s for people with a clear path they want to pursue. You don’t go to window-shop for majors, in other words. You go to get serious about a career. Take this time to say no to senioritis and yes to unexplored interests. You may not even end up wanting to go to college if there’s a good trade in your wheelhouse. You won’t know the answer until you explore.
Senioritis Can Derail an Otherwise Great High School Career. Don’t Let It!
Senioritis may not be the biggest thing you have to worry about if you’re in the class of 2021, but it’s certainly a non-starter when it comes to finding a healthy and productive pathway. Good luck as you figure it out!
[Featured Image by Archipelago, Creative Commons License]