Seniors Combat Stress As Graduation Approaches


Courtesy of class of 2020 instagram account

Senoritis is a symptom seniors face when they begin their college application or after they complete their applications and lose all motivation.

Senior year is stressful. Between college applications, scholarship applications, and the pressure to “make the most of your senior year”, motivation, as well as grades, are dropping like flies. This phenomenon, dubbed “senioritis”, is defined as “an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

“Last year, seniors started experiencing senioritis as early as November, and it continued throughout the year,” says Kamehameha Schools College Counselor, Marques Kaonohi.

November is when the first college applications for Early Action and Early Decision enrollment are due, and these applications continue through February, with scholarship applications due from December through March.

“Once students have been accepted into a university and this pressure is lifted, many lose motivation.” says Kaonohi.

“I’m very conflicted because I don’t want to lose all the work I’ve put in after four years, but at the same time, colleges may not see these grades, so I have much less motivation to get good grades,” says Senior, Camille Slagle.

Although common, senioritis is preventable and there are a few critical ways to cope with the stress. The first way to manage stress is with margin.

“If your flight leaves at 6 pm, you don’t want to get to the airport at 5:30 pm. Applying the same logic to applications, the earlier you get started on work, the more likely you are to prevent a burnout” says Kaonohi.

The second way to avoid “senioritis” is to keep looking forward to upcoming events in mind, such as prom, carnivals, and dances. These events can also be used as rewards for hard work.

“Celebrate the small successes along the way too” says Kaonohi.

Lastly, it pays to be prepared and organized. Writing down deadlines and documents required for certain applications can save lots of stress down the line. Regardless of how much stress there is, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and this can be used as a learning experience.

“Finish strong. Don’t waste four years of progress for a few months of having fun,” says Slagle.

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