How to Avoid Senioritis

The following piece was written by Rachel Korn. Rachel has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is a former University of Pennsylvania admissions officer, as well as the founder of her own admissions consulting firm.

In your last year of high school, especially in your last months of classes and tests, it can be tempting to contract “senioritis,” to fall into the trap of easing up in your academic efforts since you have already been admitted to college and are thinking about that next step. Beware, though - there are many important reasons to keep up your motivation and effort.


1. Colleges are still watching you – closely.

Your guidance counselor will be sending your final senior grades to your new college’s admissions office for review. If the grades slip significantly, the college will send you a warning letter, telling you that a) your grades are not at the level expected according to your record, and b) your performance in college is anticipated to be at the same level at which you were admitted.

The admissions office can also take further steps. Your lower grades could be sent to the academic dean who will be assigned to advise you freshman year, and this means that your first conversations upon arrival to college will not be of exciting optimism but of warning. This is not how you want to start your college career. Moreover, although exceptionally rare, your admission could even be rescinded if grades truly plummet.  

Thus, think about the impression you are making on your college. And don’t jeopardize your future.

2. Class rank and awards are determined at the end of the year.

You have just invested years of your time working hard, pushing yourself, and you may be able to reap even more rewards from it now. As the final grades are tallied, you could deserve official recognition for your efforts by earning a high class rank, scholarships, and awards for your accomplishments. If you start losing focus, you could risk these honors that you have been striving to achieve. Be careful not to let a few moments of weakness undo years.

3.   Don’t let yourself down.

More than any other reason, really, think about how you will feel about yourself if you start to slack off, especially if you are not lazy by nature. You will not want to look back and feel like you missed opportunities because you decided to give up right at the finish line. You will probably not remember every award won or lost, but you will remember the feeling of letting yourself quit. Stay strong to the end.


Realistically, and in all fairness, of course, you are worn out by second semester senior year. You can also see the light at the end of the tunnel and already feel the exciting changes to come. Just don’t shortchange yourself. You are the loser in the end if you let senioritis take over. Finish strong, be proud, and head to college knowing that you are fully ready, have maximized your high school experience, and will be starting your next adventures on a positive note with a clean slate.

Visit Rachel’s Admissions Consulting site.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.