Suffering through senioritis? There is a cure…

Opinions Editor and senior Marjorie Smedley has tips for struggling seniors

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Marjorie Smedley

Opinions Editor Marjorie Smedley outlines pro tips for getting seniors through the last few weeks of their last year in high school.

Senioritis, as it is known, is an ailment that hits high school seniors around the second semester, with cases especially picking up around spring. Symptoms include procrastination, tiredness, and deep boredom, according to the medical website “Very Real Illnesses” that I just made up. Although it may not have hit all seniors yet, it’s good to understand what to do when that feeling of exhaustion hits so you’re not floundering about during the last month of school (25 days, actually). While it is understandable that many seniors are down in the dumps and are thinking more about how their lives will look in college, there are a few more months until summer. Colleges do look at final grades and could take away scholarships if they are dependent on grades, even if you’ve already been accepted.

So without further ado, here are nine tips on how to get through to the end of the school year:

Make a plan

One of the best ways to keep yourself on schedule is to make a plan, for the week or even just for the day. Having a set schedule can keep people on track, as well as keeping a list of what needs to be done. Things like homework, chores, downtime with friends, and work should be on that list so that you can keep yourself accountable and get what you need done. Setting a timer or filling out an agenda is a way to adhere to the schedule you set, and can be easily done with your phone or a piece of paper. And while for some people it might seem useless to write down a list of things to do, being able to scratch out tasks after you’ve done them can motivate you to finish the rest of your list.

You’ve done so much work, don’t ruin it now!

— Andrea Lakly, English

Don’t stress about the small things

It’s not going to do you any good to stress over that bad grade you got for that math quiz. Yes, grades are important, but fretting over something that has already happened will only make you feel worse. Instead, try to prepare for the next quiz by looking over the material and getting better grades on the next quizzes and eventually, that test. Taking retests is also a good idea as you can boost your grades, and can be easily done in study hall. Additionally, though you might have to get up a bit earlier than ten minutes before the first bell, talking to your teachers about the material before class can make a difference on that next quiz.

Take breaks

Taking breaks, whether from studying or doing homework, is essential for a student’s mental health and general well-being. Sparing even five minutes for a quick rest, stretch or a snack is beneficial for keeping motivation intact. However, spending an afternoon on a nap, as I’ve learned, is probably not the best idea if you have things to do. Mental health days, where you take a day off from school, can help if you feel overwhelmed. However, understand that Seniors can only have five unexcused absences to be able to not take final exams at the end of this semester, so be careful if you decide to take off.

Get the college stuff done

Yes, it might seem like a good idea to put off signing up for orientation or submitting your vaccination records another day, but getting them done now can save you peace of mind later. So when you have time, set aside 30 minutes or so to finish up the last of what you have to do. That way, when you’re trying to go to sleep, you aren’t haunted by that last little form you have to fill out. If you haven’t applied to college and are going to, you should do so soon and follow these steps:

  • Apply: Sooner rather than later. Even though it’s April, it’s not too late.
  • Apply for scholarships: Many websites offer links to scholarships, such as Niche and Scholarships360, but McIntosh counselors do offer links to other scholarships, which can be found on Schoology through their class.
  • Talk to Parents: Ask your parents to help you fill out your FAFSA information, but also have a conversation with them about financial aid for college. In order to fill out the FAFSA, you will need to know your parents’ or guardians’ tax information so you will know how much aid you will qualify for. Additionally, having an idea of how much financial aid you will or will not be receiving from your parents or guardians can make a difference in how you prepare.

Work with friends (or not)

Working with friends can keep you accountable to complete schoolwork and turn your assignments in on time. It can also keep your spirits up, and make the process more enjoyable. Meeting at the library or Starbucks to study and do homework can boost spirits and can help you understand the material better, if you ask your friends for help. On the other hand, working with friends may be counterproductive and might not be the best idea because you could spend all that time just talking with friends and not getting anything done. However, it’s up to you and what you think will help you to complete your tasks.

Find a quiet place to study

Even with the best study guides, none of above can really work if you don’t have a place to study or do homework. Having somewhere where you can do homework without interruption, whether it’s at your house, the library, or even a friend’s house, can boost motivation and help you keep your focus on a task for longer periods of time.

Envision the week after graduation, and you’re looking back at March, April, and May. What will you wish you would have done?

— Rebecca Sultan, English

Don’t look at your phone

It’s tempting, but even scrolling through TikTok or Instagram for a few seconds can mess with your concentration and put your focus on homework on the back burner. According to Forbes’ Dr. Jules Albright, once you find something that you like while scrolling on TikTok, “you get that little dopamine hit in the brain … in the pleasure center of the brain. So you want to keep scrolling.” This can be incredibly unhelpful as you try to get your things done in the afternoon. Instead, try hiding your phone so it’s out of sight and out of mind when you’re doing your homework. Then, when you finish studying, you can watch the algorithm of 30-second videos to your heart’s content.

Seek out study aids

Websites like Khan Academy and Quizlet can be useful when preparing for tests or quizzes, and can be of assistance to students who may not fully understand the material. Additionally, finding tutors and seeking out teachers who are offering help is essential to getting good grades and moving smoothly through class material. McIntosh offers many opportunities, such as peer tutoring on weekdays, that can help you connect with your peers while getting help on homework. There is also a FCBOE tutor list which offers the names of tutors and what they specialize in that can help, if you are interested in that. See your counselor.

Imagine yourself as an adult…

— Ward Abel, English

Go for a walk

As I said with taking a break, sometimes a 20 minute walk can really clear your head. Having a bit of time to get some exercise and focus on the outdoors can put things in perspective and help relieve some of that anxiety that’s been building up. All that you really need to worry about is the yellow pollen that you’re inevitably going to get coated in.

To put it simply, we don’t have that much time until the end of high school for us seniors. Instead of giving up five feet away from the finish line (it’s so tempting, I know), we should put the effort in and try to graduate with the most motivation we muster. After that, we can all lie down and take a nap before we do it all again for college.

 

Editor’s Note: Smedley is a senior and Opinions Editor of the Trail. She plans to attend The University of Alabama in the spring, where she will major in History and Pre-Law. She is currently suffering from senioritis and can’t wait for May 18.