In the 20+ years I have been in education on both the high school and college side, I can say that senioritis definitely is a “thing.” For high school students, college students in their early 20s, and even professionals who are finishing up graduate school programs, the months leading up to graduation are filled with so many different emotions, impending changes, and lots of work. After so many years of ups and downs to get through an educational program, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel can throw anyone into the throngs of “senioritis.”
Senioritis can take many forms. Sometimes a student will just lose all sense of motivation to push through the last few months of school. Even the most motivated might find themselves less interested in school, co-curricular activities, and the usual tasks they are accustomed to doing. Some become more focused on what is ahead (like college, graduate school, or work) and the excitement of the future is much more appealing than the everyday mundane.
For students in high school, I constantly remind them beginning in January of their senior year that maintaining grades, activities, commitments, etc. through the end of the school year is expected by the colleges and programs that have accepted them. Most students (and families) need to be reminded that a college acceptance is considered conditional until the student begins classes in the summer or fall. They want to see that the focus, motivation, and strong outcomes that have been earned previously and positively impacted their college acceptances, will remain a part of their academic experience through to graduation.
I think the best thing parents/family members can do is to empathize with their students and acknowledge that high school is like running a marathon. Now in senior year they are almost done with their 26.2 miles. However, at mile 23, 24, 25, and 26, these are some of the most challenging miles of the entire race. You just want things to end, it’s no longer as much fun as it was, and you just want it to be over. Yet, students need to be reminded that they did not train and run more than 3/4 of the way to the end to then let it all slip away. Reminding students of all that is ahead of them and “seeing” their challenge and being supportive of the struggle is probably the most valuable and loving thing we can do for those with a heavy case of “senioritis.”
If your student is struggling to get through the end of the school year and needs a pep talk or wants to begin thinking about how to prepare for college, please reach out to NYC Admissions Solutions to connect with us and our services.