Striking Back Against Senioritis
By Laura Magerkurth
February 17, 2012
Don't fall victim to senioritis. Follow these tips.
Senioritis: we’ve all heard of it, but you never really know what it’s like until your senior year. Second semester seems to be the time when it strikes most vindictively, transforming even the most diligent of students into unmotivated clock watchers—college apps are done for the most part, ACT/SAT scores are in, and it really does feel like there is no longer much of a reason to finish strong.
We all know, though, in the back of our minds, that this semester does matter, at least for the purposes of impressing future employers or getting a little more respect from Mom and Dad. For all those in the class of 2012 who are feeling the effects of this cruel mistress—or even for those sophomores, juniors, or freshmen—here are some tips for beating the procrastination plague.
A reasonable way to combat senioritis is by blocking your study time beforehand. Set a timer, have someone hide your laptop, and work for a solid 5 minutes or hour before breaking for a short while. Take a half hour hiatus to have a snack and relax and come back refreshed with more initiative.
On that note, rewarding yourself after you finish a big project or get a good grade on a test can also keep you motivated. It’s most helpful, though, when you make the reward something that you won’t be able to access until after you’re finished so that you’re not tempted to run to the fridge or the Xbox if you get frustrated. Go to the store and get your favorite ice cream after you’re done working, instead of “saving” it in the freezer for days before.
One of the biggest problems for a lot of teenagers is staying off of social networking when it’s time to work on homework. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of options for keeping yourself off of Facebook that don’t involve supreme willpower or electric shock every time you type in the URL. Having a (trusted) parent or a (trusted) friend change your password for you and then write it down and store it somewhere safe for you will give you the chance to work uninterrupted and then get back on your favorite site when you’re ready.
Lots of schools nowadays give out planners free to students—use this resource to help you keep track of your assignments, both nightly and long-term! For stuff that has to get done ASAP, make a small box next to the note and check it off when you’ve finished. Being able to visualize how much you’ve done can be very encouraging, and there’s always a sense of accomplishment when you’ve checked off every last assignment.
But the overall, 100% effective tip I could ever give anyone about how to quite procrastinating is to simply start whatever it is that needs doing. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the project or paper or assignment is at first; getting your foot in the door is the most difficult part, but once you’ve gotten going, that momentum will last as long as you want it to.
And if you find yourself slowing down before you’re done, no big deal! Take a half an hour to regroup and decide what to work on next. Take a walk or read or enjoy a DVR’d episode of a favorite sitcom—anything to clear your head and get your ideas moving again.
At the end of the day (or at the very beginning, if you’ve stayed up all night doing homework like a good many 2012-ers out there), though, the best thing you can do for yourself as a senioritis sufferer is to set your sights on the future and resolve to do whatever it takes to claw your way there.
What do you do to fight senioritis?
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