Friends, it’s a truth almost universally acknowledged (by students, not doctors) that senioritis is a real thing. Now, Wikipedia isn’t always the most reliable source — you definitely do not want to rely on the often crowd-sourced content you’ll find there for research when you’re writing a paper — but in this case their definition of senioritis works better. The wise minds behind the site define Senioritis as “a colloquial term to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.” Does that sound pretty accurate? I’m pretty sure that’s the smart way of describing the “I don’t want to” feelings I felt at the end of my senior years in High School and College. I think we’ve all had this annoying affliction at one point or another, whether or not we’re going to a physical, brick and mortar school or working through an online program. Honestly, it can be even more difficult to keep your eye on the prize as an online student. So with graduation on the horizon and the imminent completion of one of your goals, how do you treat senioritis? Here are a few tips to keep you motivated to get it done!

Make Friends.

Okay, making friends seems like it would be the opposite of what you should do. I mean, if you’re chatting away with people you like, will you even want to get back to your studies? Absolutely! Friends can be our best motivators, especially friends at the same school or dealing with the same struggles. You can be each other’s study buddy, coach, and support system. When you have a friend who’s on the same page, it helps to hold you accountable to your goals. We can lie to ourselves all we want, procrastinate until it’s too late because we’re only disappointing ourselves, but disappointing someone you care about is tough! Take advantage of Student Communities (like ours!) to connect to other students. And, though a lot of folks like to talk about how much of a distraction social media can be, Facebook can be a great resource for connecting with friends in the same program, sending motivational messages, and even setting up long-distance study groups!

Break Down What You Need To Do.

Everything is easier and less frustrating in small doses. It applies to visits with relatives you’re not that fond of, chores, and classwork. You might be sitting there, checking out your student portal and counting how many lessons you have left or how many full classes and comparing that to the calendar days you’ve got before graduation rolls around. And you know what? Looking at it that way... well, it seems really overwhelming but take a step back and break that pile of work into a handful of small, daily goals. Say to yourself, “Today, I’m going to read three chapters and take notes. Tomorrow, I’m going to review those notes. The day after, I’m going to crush that exam!” In little bites, it doesn’t seem as bad and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment with each small item you cross off that list.

A Spoonful of Sugar.

Since we’re considering senioritis here as an “illness” that needs to be treated before the symptoms get out of control, it’s a perfect time to bring up the Disney classic, Mary Poppins, obviously. No one wants to take their medicine; no one wants to deal with the tough stuff because it hurts or makes you angry or makes you feel like you failed. BUT, you only fail if you give up trying. So it can be helpful to mix in a little sweet with the sour when it comes to getting your work accomplished in time for graduation. You have to write a paper but you hate writing? Reward yourself for little steps forward. If you take the time to outline your paper (the way you’re supposed to when you’re writing something for school — trust me, winging it will not work more than a few times), go ahead and treat yourself. Whether that treat is a half-hour of your favorite show or a candy you love, make each step worth it. You may still despise writing when you’re done with that paper and all the little steps that went into getting that paper ready to submit, but you’ll have submitted it!

Listen, it’s scary getting to the end of this huge goal you’ve set for yourself. Half the time I’ve procrastinated on something or let “senioritis” win, it was because I was scared. “Really, if you don’t even try, you can’t fail,” my brain says when I’m facing something that seems super important. Don’t try, don’t fail. But if you don’t try, you can’t get better and you can’t make your goals a reality. Graduation is a big deal and it’s coming up quick, but it’s a big deal because we get to celebrate crossing the finish line; completing a huge step; doing what we’ve been dreaming about. If you feel senioritis creeping up on you because you’re scared, don’t let it win. We’re all scared but that moment when you’re walking across that stage with your family and friends in the audience to shake the hand of the person who is saying “yes, you’re done, you’ve done it, here’s proof”... you’ll forget all about that time you didn’t want to finish up.

Keep your eyes on the prize, your mind on your goals and we’ll see you at graduation on June 2, 2018. Can’t wait!