Can Senioritis and Junioritis Affect College Choices?

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Spring can be a difficult time of year for many people. Tucked in between the doldrums of winter and the exuberant fun of the summer, it becomes a season of waiting and hoping. Energies can be sapped as people try to gear themselves up to forge through yet another year. Nowhere is this malaise more apparent than on the campuses of high schools everywhere, as students come down with raging cases of senioritis and junioritis.

For seniors it may feel as though the long, hard haul is almost over. They have completed the FAFSA, been accepted into several of their top college choices, compared the various financial aid offers very carefully, and made decisions on their student loan needs. So what else is there to do, really, other than goof off and enjoy these last few precious months of high school? They drop out of extracurricular activities, skip classes, and let their grades slide into not-so-spectacular territory. What could go wrong? The problem is that colleges can and do look at the achievements of students who have been accepted, and have been known to rescind an offer of admittance. This causes a frenzy of activity as the student scrambles to get accepted into a second choice college.

In the case of juniors, this affliction can be even more devastating. With the FAFSA online October 1, they have a lot of work to accomplish. They need to narrow down college choices, visit a few preferred schools, complete applications, and prepare to apply for financial aid. It can get tiring, confusing, and overwhelming to the point of feeling like they just want to stop the madness and get back to being a fun adolescent. Unfortunately, this tactic can cause even more problems than it does for their senior cohorts, as the junior year has a definite impact on admission and scholarship decisions. If you are suffering from the ravages of senioritis or junioritis, here are a few tips to help you keep on the college path:

• Maintain Focus: Don’t start making rash decisions just because you think nobody is looking. Colleges don’t want students who can’t keep their commitments. Stay in the clubs, keep the grades up, and don’t get drawn into time-wasting activities. Even if you have everything done with your applications, you still need to search for scholarships.

• Schedule Some Fun: It doesn’t have to be all work and no play. It can be hard maintaining focus not knowing when you will get a break. Schedule some time for fun, and you’ll do better concentrating on the tasks at hand.

• Start Dreaming: Think about what it’s going to be like in college and how much fun you are going to have there. It will make what you are going through now more worthwhile.

Don’t let senioritis or junioritis affect your ability to get into college with the maximum amount of financial aid. Stay on track and you’ll realize college and high school success.