How to Fight the Senioritis Epidemic

Do you often find yourself spending more time downloading productivity apps than actually being productive? Do you scroll through Netflix options more often than you scroll through notes? Do you follow the motto: Due today, Do today?

Well, Dr. Chen here is sorry to break it to you, but I must diagnose you with a serious case of Senioritis.

DUN DUN DUUUNNN…

But have no fear, I am here to save you with our novel new antidote: MotivationTM. Recent testing trials have proved MotivationTM to reduce the symptoms of Senioritis in 100% of our clients. Daily doses of MotivationTM can help deter the urge to procrastinate, increase hours of sleep, and erase those innate impulses to watch cooking Youtube videos. When combined with Self-ControlTM, our product increases effectiveness by 10 fold! Buy MotivationTM at your local pharmacy today!

Ha…Ha…Ha.

If only life were so simple.

Senioritis is typically the term to describe the glaringly obvious change in a second semester senior’s incentive to work hard, in school, in life, in anything. But what I found was that the drive to work is something that is hard to find, not just with seniors infected with senioritis. I mean, motivation is a rare commodity. Usually, I find my self too hungry/sleep deprived to do anything.

Senioritis is typically the term to describe the glaringly obvious change in a second semester senior’s incentive to work hard, in school, in life, in anything. But what I found was that the drive to work is something that is hard to find, not just with seniors infected with senioritis. I mean, motivation is a rare commodity. Usually, I find my self too hungry/sleep deprived to do anything.

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And sometimes it is because our desire for our end goals are not enough to deter us from choosing hours of Netflix over hours of studying. It is fine to treat yourself to a break, but when you begin treating yourself everyday, you might have a problem at hand.

Nonetheless, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. Repeat after me, children: I am a procrastinator. I need help. So if we can’t buy an remedy for this issue, what can we do? Here are some tips I found helpful while battling senioritis or simply just trying to find the motivation to do something. Since ya’ll are probably mostly struggling with writer’s block and trying to finish up those supplements, I will try to focus on essay writing.

Catch some Zzzzzzs. Though it sounds like a waste of time, taking a 15 minute nap is a much smarter use of your time then taking a 15 minute Facebook stalking break. The images of “Hottie Lamottie with the swimmer’s body” can wait. Be aware, different nap times can have different effects on your body. A short 10-20 minute nap can help increase alertness without making you too groggy after waking up. A 60-minute nap is great for improving memory and recall but might leave you struggling to wake up. I would say that my favorite length would be the 90-minute nap. With a full cycle of REM sleep, you’ll be ready to take on that essay.

Meet w/ teachers/counselors/friends. If you promise that you will have a rough draft of your essay finished for your counselor/ teacher to read before the essay is actually due, under moral obligation as well as common etiquette, you MUST have that rough draft finished for that person to review. Making a commitment to someone else makes it that much more imperative that you finish your work because someone else is counting on you! Not only will you be finished with most of your essay, you also receive much needed feedback.

Organized room, organized mind. For me, it was always hard to “get my head in the game” without knowing that my workspace was clean. I just feel as if my room is the physical embodiment of my mind. If I was messy, it meant I did not have time to clean, which ultimately meant that I was a hot mess and couldn’t manage my time well. If I can’t do that, how am I supposed to get work done? (Okay, this might just be me being a neat freak.)

Highlighting essays. I got this idea from my good friend Kevin. When writing a long essay or assignment, highlight the portions you finished in green, the portions you are working on in yellow, and the stuff you have not yet started on in red. This will hopefully motivate you to make everything in the page green.

List of your posse. If you read my last two posts, you will notice that I really like lists. Lists are my life. #lists4lyfe. But for this specific method, I’m not talking about making lists of things you need to do. I am talking about other lists. Like a list of people who are supporting you, who are routing for you. Put this list in front of your desk so you know that you’re not fighting this battle alone. We’re all in this together.

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Goals. Though it might be self explanatory, explicitly writing down your goals for the day will help make sure that you are going the right direction, instead of finding yourself doing meaningless, unnecessary tasks when you think you have nothing else to do (tasks that might include spending hours looking at prom dresses when prom is months away, Googling college acceptance rates and scrolling through college confidential, or even looking for goat milk for Prince Bapalapashamalamadingdong). Don’t be a ding dong. Get your work done.

List of accomplishments. Instead of listing out what you need to do, write down what you have accomplished in the last hour. Do this for every hour so you know that you have been making progress instead of just constantly telling yourself that you have actually done something. Quantify it. Prove your work. Make it your goal to fill up an entire chart of accomplishments.

Does you listen to music?

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I do!

Listening to music can be extremely helpful when you need a pick-me-up. I suggest that while studying to choose songs that don’t have lyrics so you won’t be inclined to belt along to your favorite song and forget what you were going to write.

Hopefully this helps a lot of you when MotivationTM runs out at your local pharmacy.

Remember, senioritis is a serious disease, but with your help, we can create a better world.

Thanks for sitting through all of my old, cheesy Disney Channel References. Ahhh nostalgia, you visit me frequently. Also, click on my name below for more posts. I want to make sure I’m not speaking to the empty cyberspace. 🙂 Good luck 🙂

Christina Chen, Quest Scholar, Yale ’18