5 Tips and Tricks to Avoid College Senioritis
It’s your final year of college, and you just want it to be over. You’re no longer working your hardest. Diagnosis: you have Senioritis. Fortunately, these tips and tricks will help you overcome it.
1. Set Milestones and Reward Yourself for Meeting Them.
A major symptom of senioritis is a lack of motivation. One of the main ways this lack of motivation can manifest is an unwillingness to work until you have absolutely no choice, or only doing the bare minimum. The solution? Give yourself some incentives. Set schedules and concrete goals for your work, and reward yourself for achieving those goals. If you give yourself something solid to aim for, you’ll work better. What these rewards and milestones can be are up to you, after all, you know what you enjoy and what your limits are better than I do. Another good way to use milestones is as a way to know when you can let yourself take a break. If you have a goal to work towards that you know will reward you with free time, you’ll be able to push yourself more without denying yourself the free time you need to stay mentally healthy. Doing this will also help you prepare for future jobs where self-motivation is a useful skill.
2. Set Yourself Up for Post-College Success.
Sometimes senioritis can be the result of taking less-rigorous classes due to having met your credit requirements. If these classes give you more free time, make sure to use it in a constructive way. Use the time to stay engaged with your friends and classmates, or to build up a friendly and positive relationship with your professors. References and letters of recommendation are a premium commodity when you’re job hunting, so making sure your professors have a positive impression and relationship with you will pay off big time. Don’t let your work quality slip during your last semesters, as that could leave a bad impression on professors and rob you of opportunities down the line. Building up connections with other students can also be helpful, as they might be able to give you job-hunting advice. You can also use the free time you gain from less rigorous classes to talk with previous professors and maintain those positive relationships. Figure out which classes you consider your best and work on maintaining connections with those professors. The more references and people willing to give recommendations you have, the better.
3. Keep In Mind That Every Assignment is Important.
A trap that senioritis can cause you to fall into is the belief that you can afford to dial back the quality of your work in the final stretch. That you’re over the hill and you can coast from here on out. You can coast a little bit but don’t forget that this was all just practice for the larger, steeper hill that is employment. Even if your work is easier, don’t let the quality of your work slide because you’re “basically done already at this point.” Even if it might work like that in college, the working world will absolutely kick your teeth in if you try that attitude. Don’t rest on your laurels, because you’ll find they wither quickly. Keep doing quality work, as every grade, every assignment, every seemingly-pointless thing you do in your final year will be important. Only doing the bare minimum to get by won’t endear you to the professors either, which means you’ll have fewer people willing to vouch for you during your job search. You can absolutely still take your foot off the gas a little, just don’t let the quality of your work suffer because of it.
4. Choose Classes You’re Interested In.
Another major cause of senioritis is a lack of interest in the material you’re studying because you’re only taking a class to get some credits. A great way to overcome senioritis once you’ve met the requirements for your major is take classes you genuinely think will be enjoyable or interesting. Take electives you’re curious about, dip your toes into other disciplines that aren’t targeted at your major specifically. If you enjoy your work, it is far less likely to burn you out. If you feel like you want to take a more challenging elective, or maybe study with a professor you worked well with in the past feel free to do that too. Just make sure that the classes you take genuinely interest you, or at least have a professor who can make them interesting. Not only are you likely to do better work for a class you care about, you’ll also feel like your work is less of a chore, and you’ll probably even remember more of the material later on. Basically, if your class is on something you’re interested in, it’ll feel like less of a chore and you’ll be more motivated to do well.
5. Enter Your Greatest Hits Into Competitions.
Another way to combat senioritis while also preparing for what comes next is through competition. Look for writing competitions at your university and in your state, and enter some of the writing you’re most proud of. Another great thing to do is revisit the assignments you feel were your best, and build a portfolio for your style and specialties. If you’re feeling like you haven’t really grown, compare your work as a freshman to your work as a senior. You’ll notice the difference and will have rock-solid proof that you’ve improved. Competitions are also a great way to build up your credentials and a win will look great on any resume. But you don’t need to win to gain the benefits because we live in a competitive world, and it will help you build up your skills even if you don’t succeed. While looking through your best work, you can also build up an idea of what your specialties are, so you can better advertise them to potential employers. You can also use these competitions to practice styles you may not be as well-versed in. Use this time to solidify your foundations so you can build towards a strong future.