If you’re a college senior, chances are, you what it’s like to experience senioritis during your final year of school. The weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer, and you’re ready to be done with classes and finally get a break (or enter postgrad life). Senioritis is a common phenomenon that can lead to excessive absences, procrastination, apathy, stress, and general hopelessness — so, if you’re nearing the finish line of your senior year with absolutely zero motivation, it’s totally understandable. After four (or more) long years of college, you’re bound to feel a little burnt out by the end! That said, if dropping the ball on your classes without a second thought sounds tempting, remember: Your future self will thank you big-time if you hang in there and finish your last year strong.
With graduation just around the corner, you should be enjoying yourself and letting loose more than usual. But if you’re starting to feel stressed or anxious about your senioritis, there are things you can do to feel a bit better. Even if you’re completely “over” school, there is still time to make sure you aren’t totally letting your school work and other commitments go down the drain. Here’s how to deal with senioritis and finish your final year on a positive note.
stay organized & adhere to a schedule.
To keep yourself on track during the last few months of senior year, stay on top of your college schedule and use your planner consistently. Try to plan out a daily schedule for yourself or use a to-do list so that class assignments and other commitments don’t slip through the cracks. For some seniors, schedules start to dwindle during the final semester since they’ve already completed their necessary courses and requirements to graduate. However, when we have less to do, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing nothing — which, despite being helpful sometimes, is not always ideal. If you account for all the tasks you have on your plate, no matter how few or how small, you have a better chance of actually accomplishing them.
Adhering to a schedule in the coming weeks or trying some easy academic hacks can also be helpful for adding much-needed structure to your days (especially if they are starting to feel less and less busy). Try incorporating some new, productive tasks into your daily routine, like working out or going for a run on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, journaling, or making a vision board to motivate you for life after college. Finding small ways to be productive outside of school and/or work can be a smart way to prevent entirely checking out for the remainder of the semester.
check things off of your to-do list, & reward yourself after.
If you anticipate yourself undergoing a “senior slide,” try not to quit or neglect your prior commitments! To give yourself a boost of motivation, try incentivizing yourself with rewards every time you complete a task. For example, if you want to get dinner with your friends on Friday night, hold yourself accountable for any academic tasks you need to complete, and set aside the time to get them done in advance. The reward of meeting up with friends will feel that much better since you got something accomplished before doing so! As you’ve probably realized by now, motivation can be hard to find in these final moments of senior year, so sometimes you just have to treat yourself for even the most minuscule of tasks, like attending a 30-minute club meeting or sending that one email that’s been looming for a week.
map out your post-grad goals & dreams.
Senior year may mark the end of college, but it also marks the beginning of your career. If you have a job laid out for after graduation, don’t forget to keep up with emails, networking, and other forms of correspondence with potential employers. If you’re short on school work during your last semester, this could be the perfect time to write out your goals for the coming year. Are you considering working a summer job, applying to graduate school, or even working abroad for a few years? What relationships are you hoping to build after college? What concrete things are you hoping to accomplish? On the other hand, if you don’t have your career plans solidified yet, that is 100% OK. Instead, consider using this time to think about what the future might hold for you and what steps you can take to get where you want to be.
embrace senioritis & create school-life balance.
Dealing with senioritis can be tricky, but it’s all about finding balance. You’ve worked hard these past four years and you deserve to put your feet up and relax. But rather than coasting too hard and neglecting your responsibilities, balance out your studying with leisure to make your final semester more bearable.
For example, if you’re having a hard time putting in the hours for your upcoming accounting final, set a timer to study for a few hours, but do it outside in the quad and enjoy the fresh air. Don’t feel like doing any work on a Saturday? That’s fine, but write a reminder on your phone or computer to start studying the next morning. Sometimes it just takes small prompts (Think: iPhone reminders and Google timers) to motivate yourself to complete your tasks at hand.
Sadly, there is no overnight “cure” for lack of motivation, especially the kind that comes from senioritis. When you’re a senior, forcing yourself to do work and feel excited about it can be quite an uphill battle. However, you can still give yourself nudges — whether it’s the promise of dinner and drinks with friends or setting Google timers to track your work progress — in the right direction to strike a balance between work and play. Just be sure to embrace these final moments with an open mind and an open heart. Graduation is around the corner and, as cheesy as this may sound, you only get one college experience… so make the most of it!