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Combating Senioritis

You’ve gotten into your dream college and are already sporting the t-shirts, or you’re ready to move in with your career after receiving the certifications you needed. You aced your finals last semester and ended 2019 strong. You’re totally ready to graduate and head off to the rest of your life, wherever that may be. Does that sound like you? Even if all of these sentences don’t apply to you, if you’re a member of the Class of 2020, you’re probably feeling pretty unmotivated right about now. We’re all settling into the part of senior year where you’ve kind of got a grasp on everything—or you feel like you do, at least.

While that certainty can be quite comfortable, sometimes seniors tend to get too comfortable during these next few months. Known colloquially as “senioritis”, this so-called disease appears to infect those in their final year of high school, right when they know they’re pretty much set for the rest of the academic year.

Here’s the thing though: we’re future health professionals, and we know better than that. We know that senioritis isn’t a real disease and that for us, we can never truly be finished. Need help on how to combat your case of what seems like senioritis? Keep reading for some tips!

  1. Do NOT let your grades slip: I hate to break it to you, but a lot of colleges and even employers might ask you for your final high school transcript. It would be a shame for a bright student with stellar grades to suddenly experience a decline in their second semester of senior year, wouldn’t it? Keep in mind that just because you might think you’re ready to move on with your life, that doesn’t mean that school stops meaning something. Your grades still matter, and your learning and assignments matter even more! It’s tempting to give in and binge-watch Netflix or scroll through TikTok for hours, but you can’t stop when you’re this close to the finish line, it would be a disservice to both yourself and your education.

  2. Catch up on work ASAP: If you’re facing a serious load of work to do because you’ve gotten busy, or neglected all of your work, or even just fell behind because you were sick or out of school, you know the struggle of catching up when you’re behind. In order to catch up efficiently, first you’ll need to know what exactly you’re behind on. My personal strategy for this situation is to take a piece of paper and divide it into as many squares as you have classes and other activities and responsibilities. For example, let’s say you have seven classes and are the captain of your school’s quiz bowl team. That would equal 8 items so you would create 8 squares on your paper and label each one with a class or activity. Then, you’ll need to list every single thing you need to complete inside each respective square, and you will have a good handle on the work you will need to complete in order to catch up. You can cross off or highlight each task as you go in order to separate completed work from items that you still need to do. If you organize all of your work out in front of you, it seems a lot less daunting than it does as a series of worried thoughts in your head.

Reward yourself, but not too much: Of course, everyone needs a little downtime every now and then to relax and de-stress. If you feel a little overwhelmed when you’re working, just take a little break—visit your parents and vent, make yourself a quick snack to keep your energy up, or even call up a friend for a few minutes. Though it’s important to keep pushing and working hard, it’s not worth doing so at the sake of your mental health. Also, it’s important to acknowledge the hard work that you’re doing, and taking small breaks and rewarding yourself with relaxing days or evenings where you just watch some TV and eat ice cream might be the key to staying motivated to work hard at other times.

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