Mid-winter is the most virulent season for senioritis, where it is easily spread amongst the college-bound crowd. High school seniors are its most publicized victims but all teens and their parents can suffer, too. What makes the "disease" so troubling is its complications can ruin college dreams and careers.
Here are senioritis complications for the college-bound, high school seniors with college acceptance letters, and parents:
College prep starts early for the college-bound. Students taking advanced classes in middle school may find their grades listed on their high school transcript. Falling grades, poor standardized test scores, missed assignments and class/school absences induced by senioritis are recorded. Colleges scrutinize high school transcripts and college admission tests looking for those students most likely to be an asset and succeed at their school.
Student academic performance matters now even though college attendance is years away. As both college costs and the value of college degrees increase, competition for admission and scholarships get tougher, especially at expensive sought-after private colleges that offer generous scholarships and those state schools that bestow the best education at bargain prices.
High school seniors with college acceptance letters
Contrary to popular myth, college prep does not end with a college acceptance letter. Colleges can rescind an offer of admission if a high school senior's GPA takes a nose-dive and not give college credit if AP grades are too low.
Many students may be too excited to read past the welcoming first line in a college’s offer of admission, but the offer comes with a string attached. Students must maintain a GPA and course levels consistent with what they had at the time of admission.
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) 2009 State of College Admission Report, almost a quarter of colleges had revoked an admission offer for the Fall 2008 admission cycle. Final grades were to blame as cited by 65% of the institutions regardless of college level of selectivity. "That means that the potential for admission rejection due to final grades exists at the most selective and least selective colleges," according to NACAC.
Receiving college credit for Advanced Placement (AP) classes and college courses taken in high school can save students time and money towards earning a college degree. However, if the grades aren’t high enough, any cost paid for the AP test or course will not result in college credit. Students can be enrolled in introductory prerequisite college classes instead of advanced electives in that subject.
Before enrolling in college classes, many colleges ask students to take college placement tests (CPTs) to determine how ready they are for college level work at that school. The penalty for not doing well impacts both time and money. Students may first have to take costly remedial non-credit classes before taking courses that are credited towards their diploma or introductory classes instead of more advanced electives.
Parents feel the pressure of dealing with children afflicted by senioritis but can succumb to the condition as well. After the fun and excitement generated by New Year's celebrations and well-intentioned resolutions have faded, the harsh realities of daily obligations and chores can morph into apathetic monotony. It's hard to be a college prep cheerleader for children when adults are battling their own winter blahs.
Manifesting symptoms of the parent version of senioritis can endanger careers. Difficulty getting up in the morning and growing indifference to completing work assignments on time can affect job performance, evaluations and promotions. The condition can be contagious among co-workers.
There is hope for those diagnosed with senioritis. The treatment can be completed in 3 easy steps to get organized, get good advice and take a relaxing deep breath.
3 Senioritis Cures
1. Create a Master Calendar
Life is busy and stressful for the college-bound and their parents. A master calendar can help keep everyone on track. There are heavy demands from a rigorous academic or work load, the pressure from college-prep and meeting deadlines.
Anyone can feel overwhelmed without prioritizing what needs to be accomplished first. Treat attending school as a job. Schedule homework, deadlines, college prep and extra-curricular activities around student and parent work hours. Update and review this master calendar as necessary.
2. Ask for Help
Support can be instrumental in fighting off a lack of motivation, lackadaisical attitude or inability to concentrate. Suffering in silence can be devastating and not necessary when help is nearby and available for the asking.
There are a lot of people ready and willing to provide support to the college-bound and their parents including each other, extended family, teachers and counselors.
3. Celebrate Accomplishments
Nothing brings anyone down more than all work and no play. There are opportunities to enjoy fun with family and friends, but without proper planning, the fun can't be fully enjoyed, or worse, may never happen. Nothing destroys a good time more than nagging thoughts about work, so mix business with pleasure. Break out a reward when a task is completed. Go back to the master calendar and add in family time, hanging out with friends and personal downtime. It's okay to plan time just to do nothing and take a break.
The college and career stakes are high so fight off senioritis, get work done and celebrate.
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