Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Senioritis - noun

“A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”1

During my 20 plus years as an educator, I’ve seen the effects of senioritis on many students.  Some are able to stand firm until at least March; others lose their way much sooner. Now, as a parent of a senior, I am experiencing this academic stalemate firsthand. Not even a principal’s son is immune to the pull of cultural influences and educational burnout. High school seniors are constantly trying to juggle numerous after-school activities, maintain a social life, and apply to various colleges. Typically, as the year progresses, friends become a top priority and school work becomes less important. Ironically, once students receive those coveted college acceptance letters, they view high school as over, as done!

Unfortunately, senioritis can be very contagious, but hard to cure. The negative consequences of slacking off during the senior year are often underestimated. Students fail to comprehend that though they may no longer care about their last semester grades, admission officers certainly do.  Universities look at all four years of high school-- from beginning to end.  High school is not over, not done until guidance sends out that last transcript -- complete with both fall and spring senior semester grades. Colleges can and do rescind acceptances.  

The point of my message is not to add another worry to your list, but to give you some advice on how to combat senioritis.

  1. Prayer- Pray for God to reveal His purpose to your senior and that he/she will respond with an open heart.  Pray that your student will look to God for guidance and for endurance to finish strong.
  2. Make a Plan- Fill your calendar or day planner with important deadlines for applications, assignments, and other events. Help your senior map out what has to be done--be that high school activities or college preparations.
  3. Communicate - Communicate with your senior; remember this season of life is exciting and happy, but also a bit sad and scary-- though they may not want to admit the latter feelings. Trying to process all these emotions at once can be overwhelming.  To a senior, everything in school is his/her “last” ...last prom, last homecoming, last big game, last chapel (insert tears here).

As a high school principal, I have the privilege to experience these “lasts” with each senior class as well as the task of helping them fight senioritis. I am blessed to be able to walk alongside you as parents, as we guide the class of 2017 to a strong finish.

1English Oxford Living Dictionary