Fighting Senioritis and finding the motivation to finish my last semester at U of T

I'm unsure if everyone is familiar with the term senioritis. According to Southern New Hampshire University, the word is commonly used among high schoolers and college students in their final year, it is associated with a decline in motivation to excel and/or finish their studies.

Now, if this was 2018 - I would not overthink it. Like most future U of T students, I was the classic overachiever, I knew I would be fine! My GPA falls 2% - no big deal!

Right Now?! The complete opposite. I have a GPA to maintain in order to reserve my place AND scholarship in graduate school. I might be a serial procrastinator and definitely lacking the motivation to attend class - but that's just making my anxiety sky rocket.

Women in a red top hunched over laptop with their head in their hands. Visibly anxious.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

What Causes Senioritis

Person sitting facing their laptop with their head resting on one hand staring at their computer.
Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

According to University of the People , senioritis can be caused due to various reasons including the following:

  • Achievement-mindset / Chronic Academic Burnout
  • Too focused on an end-goal (getting into a Graduate School for example)
  • Being bored of course material
  • Fear of the future or unknown
  • Anticipation for the next step, too excited or anxious to focus on the now
  • Laziness -- sometimes you seek a reason for something within your control

For me? I resonate with burnout and anticipation mindset. I've gotten into Graduate School -- I know I have a GPA to maintain, all my work is still being done to the best of my ability. But every time I go to start? I start looking at apartments in Belfast...this is my toxic trait.

Ways I am trying to combat it

Person at their desk on a meeting, writing in their notebook.
Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

According to Southern New Hampshire University, it's all about changing your mindset, setting goals, and finding ways to revive that motivation. Finding the spark that made you eager to take that course/program in the first place.

So for me? Here are somethings from the article that I have started to implement to get my work in and get to the finish line.

  • Avoiding burnout by making Sunday a self-care day (i.e., cleaning, taking a bubble bath, skincare)
  • Reminding myself: you have to graduate before you go to graduate school
  • Making a timeline for large assignments
  • Creating small daily goals
  • Creating positive rewards for when I accomplish goals (i.e., going on a walk to my favourite coffee shop)
  • Reaching out to professors if I am feeling overwhelmed or confused by assignment details
  • Coming to campus to study instead of my bedroom

I started trying these techniques last week and so far, I think they are working! I am less flustered about assignments, and I am working hard every day to complete my goals.

The return to campus has really helped with this -- by associating campus with work and school, I’ve made a productive space separate to my bedroom, where all I could think about was my bed! 

If you are like me: in your final year, heading to graduate school, and yet you are struggling to get to the finish line? We got this!

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