Powering through senioritis


Isabella Holland, News Editor

The end of the school year is just a few weeks away, but for many Pleasant Valley students, it can seem like a lifetime. For the most part, seniors have already decided on their respective colleges, apprenticeship programs or jobs; they have subscribed to the ideology that fourth quarter grades do not matter and have mentally checked out for the summer. With the promise of months unburdened by schoolwork and tests, who can blame these students for catching a case of “senioritis”?

But although fourth quarter grades are not factored into overall GPA, it is still important for seniors to maintain the level of academic success they had throughout their first three years of high school. By finishing out the school year with strong grades, seniors can continue to practice important study skills and improve their personal resolve even when they struggle to find motivation.

“Despite my best efforts to work to avoid senioritis, I definitely feel like it’s affected my work,” said senior Anna Banerjee. “I’m a lot less motivated to study for excessive periods to get A’s this semester than I was even last semester.”

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to overcome the apathy of fourth quarter. These simple tips can help students find the ambition they need to improve their homework habits.

  1. Take a break when you recognize you are not retaining any new information. According to Vista College, “Studying for hours into the night isn’t doing you any good if you aren’t remembering anything.” If you notice that you have read the same sentence in your psychology textbook three times and still do not understand what it was trying to say, it may be in your best interest to stand up, stretch, grab a snack or listen to some music. Set a timer for five to ten minutes in order to ensure that your break does not hinder your studying as opposed to helping it.
  2. Concentrate your attention on the tasks that need it most. If you have a two-page laundry list of upcoming homework assignments, structuring your schedule around the most pressing assignments is the most effective way to make use of your time. Studying for a big physics exam tomorrow, for instance, should take precedence over a creative writing essay due next week. If you have multiple assignments with similar due dates, you should focus on those that will have the greatest impact on your grade. “When it comes to senior year, some classes don’t matter as much,” said senior Keshav Wagle. “Some classes are going to be more essential for the career and major you choose, so you should put those classes first.”
  3. Find techniques to help you stay interested in the task at hand. According to Collegeboard.org, “Changing your approach can help you stay interested in what you’re doing. If you’ve been given an assignment similar to one you’ve done in the past, think about it in a different way.” It is much easier to stay engaged if you enjoy learning about the subject. Try to view each new assignment as an opportunity to learn something you did not know before. In assignments where you are given creative liberties, do not be afraid to take risks. For instance, if you must write a book report for an English class, pick a novel by an unfamiliar author.

Even though the school year is winding down, finals, along with a regular workload, are still major concerns for seniors. However, with these quick fixes, students should hopefully be able to power through the last few months of school.