How to Beat Senioritis

Three Methods:Staying Motivated Until the End of the YearMaking the Most of Your TimeStaying Organized

Senior year is the year you've been waiting for. Graduation is right around the corner and then comes summer vacation. If senioritis has you itchy to goof off and abandon your studies, think twice before you succumb to it. You can still have fun while keeping your grades up and getting the most out of your last year.

Method 1
Staying Motivated Until the End of the Year

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    Fulfill your graduation requirements. Once your college or graduate school applications are in, it can be hard to stay motivated to keep your grades up. However, you still need to make sure you graduate. If you stop doing your homework or attending class, you could fail.[1]
    • Failing a class often means you’ll need to attend summer school. And that’s the last way you want to have to spend your summer vacation.
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    Fulfill requirements to get into the university of your choice. A university may have already accepted you, but that’s based on the GPA they saw on your transcripts. Many universities include a clause in their acceptance letters that stipulates that you must keep your grades up as a condition of admission.[2]
    • If a school accepted you partly based on your performance on a sports team or in another extracurricular activity, you’ll need to stay active in that through the end of the year or season.
    • Even if you don't plan to go to a university right now, you may one day. Keep your grades up until the end of the year to ensure a good GPA on your transcript.
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    Think about your parents. This might be a difficult one, but it’s important. For many students, parents will be footing at least part of the bill for college. They’ve supported you until now, and will hopefully continue to be a source of support. One way to show your gratitude is to show dedication to your studies.[3]
    • You and your parents will likely disagree on how you should balance your time as a senior.
    • You can say something like, “I know that me keeping my grades up is important to you. It’s important to me, too. I am really grateful for how much you have supported me through my education. I’m definitely going to keep up with my studies until graduation, but I’m sure you’ll understand that I want to have a little bit of freedom and fun, too. This is the last year that I’ll be able to spend time with my friends all together.”
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    Remember that it’s almost over. The time between now and graduation may seem like forever, but it’s not. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that the year will be over before you know it. It might be surprising, but actually focusing on your work and deciding to care about it can make it more pleasurable and can make the time pass more quickly.[4]
    • Throw mini parties with your friends to mark each month or quarter that passes. You’re now that much closer to graduation day.
    • Think about it this way: you made it through three other years. This one has to end eventually, too.
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    Surround yourself with good influences. The people you surround yourself with have a big influence on how you spend your time. Make sure that the friends you spend the most time with are good influences on you. That way, you can support each other in staying on task.
    • Plan work parties with your friends, or make plans to go celebrate or relax once you've finished a big assignment.
    • Friends who aren't good influences can be fun, too. However, don't get sucked into their bad habits.

Method 2
Making the Most of Your Time

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    Stay healthy. If you feel sluggish and unhealthy, time can seem to drag on very slowly. Dedicate this year to staying (or getting) healthy. Eat healthy food full of protein to give you energy, and exercise to burn off excess energy when you’re feeling anxious about school.[5]
    • When summer comes, you’ll be glad you spent the year getting healthy. You’ll have plenty of energy and will feel good about yourself while having plenty of free time for adventures.
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    Take advantage of what school has to offer. Even if school seems like no fun right now, it does afford you access to certain things that you won’t have after graduation. Take advantage of these things while you can.[6]
    • If your school has a gym or a track, use it.
    • Spend quality time with a favorite teacher or mentor. Ask if you can help them with anything after school or ask their advice about colleges or careers.
    • Take out books from the school library.
    • Make an appointment with the school counselor to talk about your plans for next year or your career path.
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    Spend healthy time with friends. Spending time with friends is important. If most of the people in your friend group plan to move away or study elsewhere next year, this is the last time you’ll all be together for a while. Make time to be together in ways that are healthy and fun.[7]
    • Organize a graduation party with your friends.
    • You can put together a fundraiser, such as a car wash or a dance to raise money for a class trip.
    • Study for final exams together.
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    Practice working hard to prepare for next year. If you’re going off to college or graduate school, or if you plan to join the military or another demanding profession, you’ll have your work cut out for you next year. Take this as an opportunity to practice dedication and hard work.[8]
    • Working hard is like anything else, it gets easier to do as you practice it.
    • Don’t overdo it. Remember that it’s okay to take breaks and have some fun when it’s appropriate.

Method 3
Staying Organized

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    Plan electives and extracurriculars in advance. As a senior, you may have a very heavy course load or a very light one. Taking electives and signing up for extracurricular activities is what makes senior life fun. However, make sure you don’t pile on too many things. Leave yourself some time and space for relaxation.[9]
    • Before signing up for anything, make a calendar. Pencil in your classes and activities. Look hard at the calendar and consider how busy you actually want to be.
    • Try not to over commit. It’s better to not sign up for something than to sign up and have to quit. People may be relying on you once you’ve signed up.
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    Keep a daily checklist. Each day, make a to-do list, or a schedule for your free time. The checklist can consist of things you have to do and also things that you want to do. When you complete a task, check it off. It will feel good. Your list can include things such as:[10]
    • Swim practice
    • Volunteer for one hour at ASPCA
    • Hang out with Angela
    • Help mom with yard work
    • Catch up on favorite TV show
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    Keep your goals manageable. Getting to senior year is a big deal in itself. Reward yourself by not expecting this year to be the most challenging one yet. It’s great to have goals, but make sure they’re reasonable given how much time you’d like to spend relaxing or spending time with friends.[11]
    • If you have a specific goal, such as running a half marathon or being the editor of the year book, that's great. Make that your central goal for the year and keep other obligations or goals to a minimum.
    • You can also set smaller goals to accomplish each week or month. For example, maybe this month you’re going to volunteer 5 hours per week at the food pantry, and then next month you’re going to exercise everyday.
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    Build in time for fun. Senioritis is sure to get worse if you don’t let yourself have some fun. While you don’t want to completely abandon your responsibilities and schoolwork, you do need to blow off some steam and enjoy the company of your friends.[12]
    • Schedule the fun into your calendar. Make weekend plans at the beginning of the week so that you have something clear to look forward to.
    • Make specific plans, rather than just planning to "hang out.” Decide with friends that you’re going to see the local premiere of a cool movie, or go on a weekend camping trip.


  • Experiencing senioritis is completely normal. Just keep telling yourself that the year will be over soon. Until then, you still have to get through school.
  • Spend time with other friends who are managing to stay healthy and motivated.
  • If someone you’re close to tends to be a bad influence, minimize the time you spend with them. Say something like, “I totally understand not wanting to do any more school work, but I’m trying to stay focused until graduation, so I don’t think we should hang out right now.”
  • Stay respectful of your parents, even if you disagree about how you should spend your time.


  • Free time and newfound freedom can sometimes result in dangerous behavior. Avoid parties or gatherings with underage drinking, drug use, or other dangerous behavior.

Article Info

Categories: Learning Techniques and Student Skills