Finally, you’ve made it to your senior year. Take a breath, sit back and relax. Think about all the years of hard work that have brought you to this moment.
Now get back to work.
Blowing-off senior year is not your reward for all those late-night study sessions, time invested in extra-curricular activities and practicing for the ACT’s. In fact, most college admissions representatives continue to follow student performance well into the second semester of the final year of high school to make sure their ready for the challenge of higher education. Letting senior year slide, even if you’ve already received your college acceptance letter, can come with serious repercussions.
Take the following quiz to see if you’ve got a case of senioritis.
- Your classes this year include:
- AP and college-track courses. You’re even considering taking a class open to high school students at the college or university in your area.
- Mostly college-track courses with a few fluff courses. You know you’ll breeze through most of the year.
- The easiest course you could take to fulfill the requirements to graduate. You’ll have plenty of time to socialize throughout the many study halls you’ve signed up for.
- After school, you’re busy:
- Volunteering at the local community center or practicing with the team. With all of your extra-curricular activities, it’s a wonder you’re able to maintain your grades.
- Trying to extra-curricular activities, schoolwork and friends.
- Figuring out how to convince your parents that staying out until midnight on a school night isn’t a big deal – you’re almost eighteen aren’t you?
- When you picture your life after graduation, you see yourself:
- Attending a great college. After receiving so many acceptance letters, you feel confident the school you chose is a perfect fit. It should be, right? You worked your butt off to get here!
- Getting into school. You know you’ll get a great education. So what if it wasn’t your first choice?
- Happily experiencing the freedom of life after high school.
- Becoming a senior means:
- It’s time to buckle-down and pull out all the stops. Now’s the time to prove you’ve got what it takes to succeed in the world of higher education.
- You’ve worked hard throughout high school, now you can finally relax a little. Maybe you’ll let a few extra-curricular activities slide.
- You’ve hit easy street. It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. You’ve only got one year left to enjoy being a kid and you’re going to make the most of it.
- On average, you work around ___ hours a week at your after-school job.
- 0 – 10. With trying to balance schoolwork, family, friends, and extra-curricular activities you don’t have the time to work any more.
- 10 – 20. You’ve got a lot on your plate. If you worked anymore, your grades would suffer or you’d have to give up your extra-curricular activity.
- 20-40. You’ve got to pay for car insurance some how. So what if you have to sacrifice sleep or skim through Moby Dick instead of reading it?
- On average, your grades are:
- Great. You’ve been working hard to maintain you’re A’s, and even harder to bring up your B’s.
- Fine. They’re about the same as always.
- Suffering. You’ve been busy concentrating on other things.
- When you think about college life, you feel:
- Completely prepared and totally excited. You’re ready to conquer a new challenge.
- Good. You’re slightly anxious about such a huge change, but you’re ready to face the future.
- Terrified! How are you supposed to figure out college-life when you haven’t even figured out yourself?
- You see AP courses as:
- A great opportunity to earn college credit while you’re still in high school.
- Classes you wish you had time and energy for.
- A waste of time. Who’s thinking about college credit now? You haven’t even graduated yet.
- Your class attendance is:
- Great. Nothing could tear you away from that desk!
- Pretty good. There are just some classes you can get away with skipping.
- Enough to get by. You spend as little time in class as possible.
- When your teacher assigns a big project you:
- Get started on research immediately. You want to do the best possible work in the time allowed. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with turning work in early.
- Do a little preliminary work and then scramble to complete it the night the before it’s due.
- Ask for an extension on the due-date. You forgot all about it.
Let’s review the results. If you got:
You’re on the right track! Senior year comes with a lot of responsibilities. Managing to balance school work, extra-curricular activities, friends, family and the pressure of knowing “the real world” is just a graduation ceremony away can be extremely difficult. You can breathe a little easier – the effort that you’re putting into your final year of high school proves to admissions representatives that you’re ready for the transition to higher education.
You’re doing a dangerous dance – one that has the potential to keep you from getting admitted to the school of your choice. The good news is that you haven’t completely slipped into the pitfalls of the senior slump. Even though you’ve let your performance slide, you still know that senior year is important. Step it up a notch by staying active in extra-curricular activities. Or, earn college credit by taking AP classes or by enrolling in your local community college. You’ve put your all into the first three years of high school; don’t let one misstep keep you from a future you’ve always dreamed about.
You’ve got a nasty case of senioritis. Allowing laziness to overshadow the performance of the rest of your high school career is dangerous. It can cause your admission to college to be revoked, or in extreme cases, keep you from crossing the stage with your peers. It’s time you asked yourself some tough questions. Is your future important to you? Is partying with your friends more important than your education? Senior year is the last phase of life before you enter “the real world” – does that scare you? Whatever your reason for falling into the slump, it’s time you moved on. Find a charitable organization to volunteer with, join the soccer team or find a study club. Do whatever it takes to stay active. You’re classmates are headed into the world of higher education, there’s still time for you to join them.