Conquering Senioritis

Each year, shortly after second semester begins, millions of high school seniors are struck with a dangerous disease.  High school diplomas and college acceptances are among the damage inflicted by this infection, and it’s a plague that’s unlikely to be irradiated anytime soon.   

It’s conquering senioritis.   And while it’s the sort of epidemic that the CDC can’t possibly hope to contain, thankfully there are a few things you can remind yourself of to keep from falling victim

You’re not all-the-way accepted yet

When someone makes an offer on a house, they often tack “contingencies” onto the offer.  For example, they might include a “contingency” that the offer is only valid if the house passes an inspection first or doesn’t fail a radon test.  

Your college acceptance is also contingent on certain things.  While these things will vary from school to school, most will rescind your admission if you fail to graduate from high school or have your GPA drop too low.  Most schools also require a midyear and final grade report from you, and, especially if financial packages are on the line, how you perform after your application is turned in can still have a big impact on what resources you actually receive.  All good reasons to keep your head in the game.

This is your last chance to prepare for college

Your last semester in high school is also your last semester to really prepare for college-learning.  In many cases, high schools have smaller class sizes and more understanding teachers than you are likely to encounter once you’re on a college campus.  Take advantage of these resources now to get yourself ready to delve into more complex subjects in the future.

AP Tests Are Still Up Ahead

While your course-load may be lighter during your last semester, AP tests don’t happen until April.  Which means even if you’ve already earned an “A” in advanced placement classes, you’ve still got work to do.  Scoring well on AP tests will generally earn you college credit, which will save you time and tuition money once you get out to school.  Make sure to carve out time to review and practice for each of the tests you’re scheduled to take.

It’s a Great Chance to Explore

Up until now, your high school performance may have largely been focused on taking the right classes and getting the right grades to get you into college.  With that college acceptance letter in hand, you can use your last semester to do what education was always supposed to be about anyway: exploration.  Challenge yourself to take classes and tackle projects that are outside your comfort range.  Check out subjects that have always intrigued you, but that you’ve never gotten around to trying.  Be willing to take risks and make mistakes: it will help keep you engaged and you may just stumble onto something that will change what major or career you ultimately want to pursue.

Your last semester can be one of the most memorable and satisfying academic experiences of your high school years.  Keep these things in mind to avoid letting senioritis short-change your last few months before graduation.  

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