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The Perils of "Senioritis"

The Perils of “Senioritis”

As seniors finalize their class schedules, one comment sometimes heard is: “I have worked so hard. Do I really have to take such a tough schedule this year?”

Each student will have a different approach to his or her course selection. Some students contemplate enrolling in four versus five AP or honors classes; others need encouragement to add more rigor to their schedules. While there is room for electives, a senior schedule should reveal a student who remains excited about academic challenge. The bottom line: students should enroll in the most rigorous set of classes in which they may be successful. Here are four tips for warding off “senioritis:”

Make the grades. There is not a stronger message to send colleges than good grades during senior year. Students should aim to maintain or improve their performance compared to junior year. Strong grades and a challenging senior schedule can often compensate for weaker grades earned previously.

Remain involved without getting overwhelmed.  As we all know, students are dedicated to much more than classes. Senior year provides a whole new level of learning how to prioritize academic demands with the commitments that clubs require. Trying new activities and further developing current interests not only prepares students for a college schedule, but gives them an important stress-relieving outlet. However, involvement at the expense of one’s grades is never a worthwhile trade-off.

Stay focused. Even after being admitted to college, seniors need to maintain their grades. Students who commit to Early Action or Early Decision programs are expected to continue their academic progress. Colleges wish to see solid final transcripts. It gives no college pleasure to send a warning letter or, worst-case scenario, to rescind admission to students who let their grades slide at the end of the senior year.

Enjoy the experience. Students who can resist “senioritis” will be able to balance the academic, extracurricular, and social aspects of senior year. Universities look forward to welcoming that kind of well-rounded energy into the freshman class each fall.

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