The Milestone Medical Journal: Serious disease plagues seniors

Call the doctors! Get the paramedics! It’s that time of year that Senioritis is plaguing seniors across the nation. Side effects may include but are not limited to tiredness and fatigue, lack of motivation, and a decline in performance in school. Unfortunately there is no cure for this virus, but students can avoid it if they pay attention to warning signs. The Milestone Medical Journal looks at some of the most common statements and rationalizations that can develop into Senioritis, and how to fight them before it’s too late. These are a few of the warning signs those who are already infected have cited:

“I’ve already been accepted into college.”

One of the main goals of getting a high school education for many students is to prepare for college. For many seniors, once those college acceptance letters arrive in the mailbox, it’s easy to say “Mission accomplished! I’ll just go take a nap now.”

Getting accepted into college is a great accomplishment, but there are many other sources of motivation seniors can use to get back on track with their school work after a post-acceptance slump. For one, the better grades a student has, the more scholarship money they will be eligible for. College is expensive, and everyone loves a well-deserved discount. Also, if students keep their grades up, they won’t have to take exams at the end of the year. That means no pre-test cramming and possibly getting out of school three days early. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

“I only need an 85 average.”

Speaking of exams, having the exam exemption cut off at 85% rather than 93% makes many students become complacent about their grades, since the exemptions aren’t as hard to achieve as they were last school year. This is a slippery slope, though. Slacking off and then hoping to break even at an 85% at the end of the year is pretty risky, and something students may regret at the end of the year if they end up having to take exams. Continuing to put in work throughout the year and then having a cushion of a couple grade points on their final averages is a lot less stressful in the end.

“The teacher probably won’t check/grade this assignment.”

This is an excuse that many students tell themselves to put off their homework. Often, though, it is followed by heart-wrenching terror when their teacher walks around the room with the grade book in hand. The best solution to this is to set aside a time to complete the assignment before it’s due. In the end, it’s more convenient and it keeps students’ heart rates from spiking.

“Watching just one more episode can’t hurt.”

Online streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have made TV an even more serious distraction for many students than it has been in the past. What used to be watching one episode on TV as a study break can now turn into multiple hours of time spent watching episode after episode without even really realizing where the time went. The viewers don’t even have to actively choose another episode to watch. On most sites, a new one starts automatically in 10 seconds. If students are already feeling under-motivated, this binge TV temptation can be toxic.

The best solution to keep Netflix from being a distraction is to turn it into an incentive. Students can make a personal policy to wait until they’ve finished their homework before logging into Netflix and spending an hour – or four – relaxing with a bowl of popcorn.

“I want to spend my remaining time in high school enjoying time with my friends that I won’t be with in college.”

This rationalization is one of the toughest for students to combat, because friendships are very important, especially when all these seniors are about to be going separate ways. Still, while cherishing time with friends should be a priority, handling this dilemma can be great practice for college. For many students, going away to college will be their first time living on their own and they’ll have to really consider careful time management. They’ll be juggling harder classes, more homework, and lots of new friends. It’s all about finding a balance. Taking the rest of senior year to work on finding a system that works for them to get assignments done and spent time with friends will make them better prepared for college life and bring a meaningful ending to their senior year.

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