What is Senioritis? | Tips to Prevent Burnout

by | May 21, 2024

Senioritis is a phenomenon that often creeps up on high school seniors as they approach the final year of their academic journey. It manifests in various ways, from a lack of motivation and focus to a feeling of being “checked out” from school work. While some students may remain unaffected and continue to excel, others may struggle to stay engaged. Before delving into strategies to combat senioritis, it’s important to understand the impact it can have on a student’s academic performance and overall well-being.

What is Senioritis?

merriam-webster.com defines senioritis as:

an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades

In essence, senioritis is the arousing dissociation students begin to have with school and school work during senior year. While the symptoms are different for all students, the underlying things to look for are:

  • Lack of interest in school
  • Drop in student attendance
  • Drop in GPA or academic level

Senioritis can manifest in various ways among students, regardless of their academic performance. Whether holding a 3.8 GPA or a 2.5 GPA, the onset of senioritis is not discriminatory. It often creeps in when students start feeling like their schoolwork no longer holds significance. Some students may experience senioritis simply due to the fact that they are in their final year of high school, while others might feel its effects once they start receiving acceptance letters from universities.

How To Prevent Senioritis

Now that we’ve covered what senioritis is and the symptoms it produces, it’s important to explore various preventative measures. Students and parents have a range of options to combat senioritis and avoid burnout. It’s crucial to understand that each student is unique, with different aspirations and objectives. What works well for one student may not be as effective for another. Consider your student’s work ethic, drive, and post-school goals when determining the best approach to prevent senioritis. These factors play a significant role in finding the most suitable solution for combating senioritis effectively.

Solution 1: Foster Engagement in Extracurriculars

As students enter their last year of high school, many of them have already made plans for what happens after graduation. This is one primary reason for senioritis developing. Because students see less value in their schoolwork as seniors, it can be a great idea to have them join extracurriculars. Extracurriculars come in the form of many different events and classes. Using senior year as a way to explore other interests before graduation can be a great motivator. Does the student have an interest in art? Getting involved with art club if they aren’t already can be a great senioritis deterrent.

Solution 2: Tutoring

Getting a tutor is a great way to combat senioritis, and even prevent it from happening! Scheduled tutors add another person and layer of accountability for the student. This accountability is of the upmost importance as students wane in their focus for class time. The best way for a tutor to work is to set a standing appointment. This should be at least once per week to combat senioritis. Even if the student doesn’t need a tutor, one can help improve the students grade and more! We highly recommend checking out our tutors if you’re interested in one-to-one tutoring. 

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Solution 3: Setup a Support System

Often times, students with senioritis lack a support system to help them with accountability. A student’s support system is one of the most important things for them to learn how to develop, especially if they plan on going on to college or university. This support system should be a group of people that the student surrounds themselves with that help set an example, and maintain accountability for the student involved. A student’s support system can include people like: parents, friends, co-workers (if they’re working part-time), etc.

Solution 4: Organization

It can’t be understated how important organization is for a student’s success. Organization lays the fundamental groundwork for combating senioritis for students. Keeping things like a planner (digital or physical) is a necessity for student’s looking to avoid falling behind. We even recommend starting a planner as early as the summer before senior year so the student can begin using it in their daily life. This makes it second nature once school starts.

Combating Senioritis as a Parent or Student

Overall these tips should help you combat the growing senioritis plague senior year. While your almost at the finish line, it’s important to note that you’re not across it yet. A lot can happen in an academic year that can alter your course or plans for after graduation. For that reason it’s important to combat senioritis early. If you’re a student, you’re already one step ahead by researching it and looking for preventative measures. If you’re a parent, we recommend easing the student into some of these solutions. Don’t start with all of them at once. A student experiencing senioritis likely has or is close to burnout. For this reason you need to encourage them to stick with it and remind them that they can always rely on their support network.


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