Dear QB: How do I fight senioritis?

DearQBSen·ior·i·tis (noun)

A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

If you’re a high school senior, you have likely been forewarned by your counselor, teachers, or parents about “senioritis.” Graduation is now less than six months away, and it can be tempting to slip into a senioritis state of mind. But now — more than ever! — it’s important to stay on track. To make this part easier on you, we’ve compiled our tips to help you fight senioritis:

Remember why it’s important to keep your grades up

You have likely already been told that it’s important to keep your grades up during the second term of your senior year. But just in case it went in one ear and out the other, take a few moments to refresh your memory about why this is so important…

Colleges do look at your end-of-year grades. Don’t put yourself in the awkward position of showing colleges that you slacked off during the second term. Even if you have already been admitted, you should keep performing well in your classes. A strong performance will further prove that you have the work ethic and drive to succeed at their school.

Set goals

One of the best ways to fight lack of motivation is to set specific, measurable goals. Instead of setting one big goal (e.g., Graduate from high school), break down your goal into several more time-sensitive goals. For example, you could write down “sign up for AP exams,” “maintain at least a 3.8 GPA,” or “set up a meeting to train next year’s XYZ club president.”

Tip: Write these small, actionable goals down on paper and post them where you will see them on a regular basis, such as a bathroom mirror, locker, or refrigerator door.

Focus your energy on preparing to be a college student

If you catch yourself daydreaming in class about what college will be like, you should instead focus on what you can do now to prepare. Consider yourself as a college student in-training!

One part of college life that you can prepare for now is finding the right balance between school, activities, and personal time. We know it can be tempting to put more emphasis on activities during the second semester of your senior year, but developing good habits now for balancing your time will ease your transition to college.

One more way you can prepare to be a college student is with your actual classes. Many colleges will allow you to get credit for your AP and SAT Subject exams, which can help you get a head start on your curriculum since you can potentially “test out” of required introductory classes. Check each college’s policy for college credit to determine if earning college credit is an option for you.

The effort you put forth these last few months will be good practice for when you step on a college campus in the fall. You have worked so hard during your entire high school career, and you owe it to yourself to finish strong.

Dear QB is an advice column for QuestBridge applicants and QuestBridge Scholars. To submit a question, email with “Dear QB” in the subject line.