Senioritis: What Can You Do About It?

photography of people graduating
Sara Mirza
Sara Mirza

Sara has worked in leadership development, career coaching, academic counseling, undergraduate admissions advising, curriculum design, teaching, and project management. She has her undergrad from UC Berkeley and Masters in Counseling from Golden Gate University.

It’s easy to slip into. Sometimes you won’t even see it coming. I’m referring to the common phenomenon known as senioritis. We all go through it and I’ve got news for you: it won’t just happen in high school. If you don’t learn how to deal with it now, it’ll creep up in college; and it’ll sneak up on you when you give your 2 week notice at your first job, and every job after that. So how do you tell senioritis is happening, and what do you do about it?

I know what you’re thinking: it’s natural.

Senioritis, is actually more of a social phenomenon than a biological response to change. The urgency to enjoy your last few months with this particular group of friends in this particular environment takes precedence over other things. You know you’re off to college so parental demands are subsided. And if you’ve already been accepted and sealed the deal with your college of choice, then what is there to worry about?


I’ll quickly point out a few things:

  • It does affect the way colleges look at you
  • It does affect financial aid and scholarships

The bottom line here is: keeping up your GPA is not only important; but if you’re a financial aid or scholarship recipient, it’s crucial in order to maintain that.

So how do you identify senioritis? Some or all of these might apply:

  • You’re always bored.
  • You feel stressed out.
  • You’re constantly procrastinating small and large tasks.

Now that you know it’s happening,

How do you battle it?

Time management and organization are your best friends right now.

Make a conscious effort to identify how you’re spending your time. Take out your calendar and map out one week that will be productive and well balanced:

  • Schedule activities such as studying for upcoming exams
  • Carve out time to spend with your friends, and your family
  • Dedicate time to your extracurricular activities in this schedule
  • Make some time for self-care (the gym, just “me” time, whatever you enjoy)

Whatever you make time for, make sure it results in a productive and well-balanced schedule.

Be Proactive

Then, go through your week and start to make notes of things you find yourself pushing off or making excuses not to do. During this week, make sure you’re going to class. This will help you identify areas of focus where you know you’ll have to work a little harder to stay on task.

Set small goals:

During your last few months of college, make sure you’re not overburdening yourself with expectations. Prioritize and break up your larger goals into smaller tasks you can accomplish in smaller intervals.

Take care of yourself:

You can set goals and time manage and prioritize all you want. But if you’re too tired to get to class, you’re more likely to justify skipping out… for reasons like, simply because you’ve already gotten here.

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and are well-rested.
  • Spend some time on self-care. Carve out time to read a book you’ve been wanting to pick up, go to the gym, whatever self-care means for you: make time for it!
Keep showing up:

You just have to show up to get started.

Finally, remind yourself that the next few weeks or months are NOT the end of your relationships and life in general. Yes, college is tough. For most of you, it’ll take more work and more focus. Yes, you’ll have less time to dedicate to your friends and family. However, you will have SOME time, and if you use it wisely, you won’t need to miss out on things and experiences that are meaningful to you.

Remember, if you get into the habit of practicing these tricks to combat senioritis now, you’ll be armed to recognize it and combat it when it tries to come creeping back!

Questions? Let us know!