As a senior, I have two months left until graduation. Can I say that I am equally as terrified as I am excited? However. I’ve been running low on, well, a lot of things like energy, motivation and time. I believe this is what they call “senioritis”.
As graduation draws near, I’m finding it more difficult to stay focused on my work. I can only concentrate for about five minutes before my mind starts wandering off to more interesting topics, such as “What should I have for lunch?”
I think my lack of motivation and inability to concentrate stems from a multitude of things. The idea of graduating in two months and being thrust into the “real world” is definitely fueling my anxiety and I feel as if it’s affecting my ability to concentrate on schoolwork. I feel like I’ve been in school long enough (16 years to be exact) to figure out the best studying techniques. You have to keep in mind though, everyone is different so some of these make work for you and others may not. The most important takeaway is to find what works for you.
Below, I thought of a few ways to stay focused during these last two months of school. For some, these could be their last forever, so might as well go out with a bang!
I find it less overwhelming to write out all of my assignments on a sticky note and put it somewhere that I can see it every day. Something about seeing the ten assignments I have due this week written out is quite comforting. As you finish each assignment, you can check it off your list. Literally, you just cross it off. It is surprisingly satisfying. Planners work really well for this too, but if you’re less organized, just stick to the sticky notes (you see what I did there.)
Manage Your Time
This is something I definitely struggle with. I’m a major procrastinator, but let’s be honest with each other, who isn’t? (Everyone procrastinates, Mom, I promise!) My advice is to try your best NOT to wait until an hour before class to study for your test. Find what time works best for you. What time of the day are you the most focused? When do you have the most energy? For me, I am more focused in the morning. I know a lot of people definitely do not like doing homework in the morning, and that’s okay. If you’re a night owl then make sure you have a few hours of allotted time to get your work done before you go to bed.
Divide your day up between homework, classes, and free time. If you spend too much time doing homework you’re going to tire yourself out and give up pretty quickly. (I speak from experience on this.) What I like to do is try and study for at least thirty minutes with no distractions, then get a snack or get up to stretch my legs. I kind of just repeat this maybe three or four times and it seems to get the job done. If you have a set time that you plan on doing your homework, you’re more likely to get it done.
Don’t Try to Do Everything All at Once
Sometimes I find myself trying to finish everything I need to do all in one sitting. I definitely would advise against this because, for one, the work that I do gets progressively worse as time passes, and two, by the time everything is done I feel exhausted both mentally and physically. I find it really helps me to start on something, take a break, and then come back to it the next day. This way my brain doesn’t get tired of staring at the same thing for hours. I have time to process what I just did and maybe in the meantime, I can brainstorm about ways to make it better.
Take Care of Yourself
If you are feeling overly exhausted one day, don’t feel bad about cutting your studying time in half. Listen to what your body is telling you. Taking a nap is OKAY! If you feel suffocated or overwhelmed, go outside and take a walk. If you’re feeling tired, stay in instead of going out with friends. Some time to yourself to just wind down is a lot more beneficial than you think. And I know you’re probably tired of hearing this one… but stay hydrated! The healthier you are mentally and physically, the easier it will be to focus and do well on your assignments.
I hope this helps you to get through these last two months of school. You’ve made it this far, so it would really be terrible to let your grades start to slip in the last semester of your senior year. My final words are: Don’t stress. You’re not alone in experiencing “Senioritis.” Make time to finish your work, but not too much time! Be sure to fit “relax and breathe” somewhere in there. Just think how good it’s going to feel when they hand you your diploma! 🙂