Senioritis is a real thing for many graduating high school seniors. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines senioritis as, “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” It is easy to have the high school “finish line” within reach and say, “I’m done,” and neglect or not try as hard to complete assignments or study for tests. However, students need to address senioritis before it has a negative effect on their future.
Most signs of senioritis are easy to spot. Common signs of senioritis can include lower grades, not completing assignments, and cutting classes. Other signs can be spending much more time with friends, laziness, and finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. If parents and students are paying attention, they should be able to spot these symptoms early enough to work towards curing the student’s senioritis.
There are many reasons students start experiencing senioritis during the second semester of their senior year. For some students, they feel burned out after pushing themselves very hard the previous few years in hopes of creating impressive applications for admissions. Once acceptance letters start coming in, the student may feel it is okay to slack off. Other students get so caught up in senior year excitement and activities, such as prom or graduation preparation, that they neglect their schoolwork. Whatever the reason, students and parents should pay attention to the signs of seniorities and address them quickly.
Senioritis can have negative effects on a student’s future. Every year colleges rescind offers of admissions, place students on academic probation, and change financial aid offers due to changes in the students’ file. Changes in a student’s file can include lower grades and disciplinary issues, which are sent to the colleges after graduation. Since colleges do not receive all information about their accepted students until the summer, they can make changes, including taking admissions offers off the table, in the summer after students have turned down offers to other colleges. Having colleges changes their decisions or financial aid offers in the summer can be very disappointing to the student, and depending on how late the change comes, can really limit their options.
If parents or students notice symptoms of senioritis, it should be addressed immediately. It is a good idea to figure out what is causing the senioritis and make changes if necessary. If senioritis has already made changes to a student’s record, it is recommended students meet with their teachers or school counselor to discuss their concerns and create a plan to address the issues. This will include determining if the change is large enough to notify the admissions committee at the college or colleges the student is considering attending.
The second semester of the senior year is still very important in college admissions. Even after admissions decisions are delivered, many colleges can change their mind, and tell students so in their acceptance letters. Therefore, students should continue taking their education seriously and work towards their goal of attending college.