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How to Avoid Senioritis and Stay Motivated Until Graduation Day

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It’s your senior year in college, and all you want to do is Netflix and chill after a long day of classes. Many students like me figured this was their last year to lounge around the house all day and binge-watch an endless amount of TV shows. We gave in to the sluggish pull of senioritis. From barely starting a pile of homework at 2am in the morning to finishing my midterm paper the hour before it was due in class, it was a miracle that I graduated on time.

Just because your workload and class schedule isn’t as jam-packed as it was in your junior year, that doesn’t mean you should ease up on school. Completing any assignment at the last minute can create unnecessary stress during the final chapter of your college career, so here a few tips on how to stay proactive for the rush of assignments and projects due before walking the graduation stage.

Keep a Detailed Calendar

This doesn’t mean you have to create an unrealistic hour-by-hour schedule every day – just one that documents what time your classes start and all the extra activities you have planned for the week. A weekly calendar can help you schedule which days are better to add extra time to watch TV or when important assignments are due. A calendar can also help you start homework sooner, giving you the motivation to complete your work in one sitting rather than waiting till later to finish it.

Give Yourself Plenty of Sleep

The average person needs around seven to nine hours of sleep per day. As a young college student, you might be able to go on an all-night midterm study crunch, although this usually makes us a wee bit unprepared and disorganized for our full day of classes the next morning. Making time to nap throughout some of your busiest homework sessions or test term weeks can also help you fight off your morning weariness.

Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done

Creating a system that rewards you for cleaning the dishes or starting that essay a few days early can really motivate you to earn your fun time. There are multiple ways to reward yourself for a job well done. For example, you can prepare a tasty snack or spend an extra few minutes roaming the internet. Some students also benefit from taking small, 90-minute breaks in between studying to help replenish attention and focus.

Light Exercise

As a busy student, sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to go to the gym and exercise. Luckily for senioritis sufferers, staying active by going on a light walk or jog can release endorphins and increase your energy levels. Some college kids also benefit from meditating, yoga or doing simple stretches to keep the body in motion. The key here is to not over-exert yourself with crazy exercise routines, but to keep active enough to avoid another lackadaisical day on the couch.

Lay off Greasy Fast Food

Students who don’t take the time to cook a healthy meal often go straight to a cheap fast-food line for dinner. However, greasy fast food can lower your serotonin levels, which can cause some individuals to feel moody or sluggish. The best way to avoid eating junk food is to substitute your high-calorie french fries with a salad or a bowl of fruit. Also, the more water you drink, the better your body is able to cycle out the fatty foods in your system.

Set Daily/Weekly Goals

These goals can revolve around your academic or personal ambitions for the week, which can include studying for that major test a week in advance instead of the night before. Some goals can be as simple as “doing your laundry before you run out of underwear” or “attend a study hour with your professor” this week. Keeping small goals like these can help you spice up your boring routine of school work and social functions. Your long-term goals can relate to your career wants and interests, but to keep your senioritis from affecting your daily life, creating obtainable small goals can help you strive for a better academic year.

Talk to Someone

Most of my senioritis stemmed from daily stressors in my academic and personal life, making me feel as if I was alone in the world. Creating an outlet to talk about these stresses can help you work through the typical senioritis “mental block” you can feel sometimes when you’re at a low point. Some students benefit from talking to a counselor, which I highly recommend, but sometimes college kids can also get the help they need by talking to a close friend or relative. Everyone has a time in their life when they need to vent about their problems. Don’t ever feel ashamed if you need help for your senioritis or any other mental or personal issues.

Research Steps for Your Path After Graduation

Since you’re close to graduating, the next stage in your life can involve getting a master’s degree or entering the workforce. To better prepare for your new chapter in life, do as much research as you can on your desired degree plan and career path, which will help you prepare for your not-so-distant future. Senioritis usually affects your academic aspirations, but with your mind focused on the future, this “decreased motivation” syndrome won’t stop you from achieving your dreams.

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