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Mar 04, 2014

Attention parents of high school seniors: Do you know where your senior’s backpack is?  If it has been staying in the car overnight, you may need to be concerned. Senioritis | Depressed high school student

March is Senioritis Awareness Month (not officially, but to this executive function coach it is!) and I’m starting awareness with you. Thankfully, the disease is easy to identify when you know what to look for:

  • ˜Is your senior wearing an excessive amount of track pants, tattered tees, and flip flops?
  • ˜Is his/her backpack left in the car overnight or all weekend?
  • ˜Are your queries about incoming admission decisions met with dismissive grunts?

If you answered yes to one or more questions, your senior may be at risk for Senioritis. 

More serious cases of this condition require urgent care. Frequent absences, slipping grades, skipped classes, and incomplete assignments are red flags that your senior is not coping well with the demands of finishing high school. In some severe cases, students may adopt unhealthy strategies such as withdrawal from family, friends, and activities or excessive partying and drug use.  If left untreated, Senioritis can result in jeopardized futures with students failing to prepare effectively.

In these more severe cases, the prognosis is good with appropriate care.  Connecting with your senior to see how s/he is coping, clarifying expectations for finishing the year strong, and providing healthy outlets for stress-relief are great ways for parents to help. Think your senior may listen to a third party with more "open ears"? Don't forget that guidance counselors at schools are there to help students after all those recommendation letters are sent, too. They might point you or your senior to other sources, such as an executive function coach, that may help him/her prepare for the transition to college, instead of just playing the "waiting game". 

For those still in the waiting game, time is on your side. The decision-making process typically involves additional campus visits and prospective student information sessions to confirm institutional fit. Weekend road trips and vacation visits are great ways to fill the weeks before a decision needs to be made. Wait-listed students should especially consider an initial or second interview to establish personal contact with the institution to discuss their application.
Do you know a high school senior who is stuck in a post-application or post-acceptance slump?  Why wait until graduation for a cure when relief is available today? Download our tips to help seniors stay motivated when they run out of steam.
Download Senioritis Checklist

photo credit: <a href="">Angelo González</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

About the Author

Michele Hearn

Michele Hearn is a senior coach, supervisor, and Director of Adult and College Coaching for Thinking Outside the Classroom. Her specialty is helping clients clarify, prioritize, and achieve their academic and professional goals. A veteran college administrator, counselor, and career consultant, she is also a licensed Guidance Counselor in the State of Massachusetts and participant in the New England Association for College Admission Counseling Summer Institute. Prior to joining Thinking Outside the Classroom, Michele served in numerous administrative roles at the College of the Holy Cross where she assisted students preparing for the college and college-to-career transitions. Most recently, she developed the career success workshop for the University of Connecticut’s nationally-recognized Mentor Connection, a three-week residential summer program for talented high school students. Michele possesses a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Education from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling from SUNY Oswego.


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