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For high school seniors each spring, the countdown to graduation is on. College applications are in and admission decisions are trickling out. Some students may find themselves with only one problem: finishing the year without mentally checking out.

“It has definitely been difficult not only for me, but for every single one of my friends and peers,” says Annika Witt, a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. “Waiting for college decisions and being in that limbo creates a distinct lack of motivation.”

That lack of motivation that strikes seniors in their second half of the school year has a name: senioritis. Classic symptoms of senioritis include cutting class, procrastination, a general lack of interest in studies and a drop in grades.

“It’s important to get senioritis under control,” says Eric Eng, founder and CEO of AdmissionSight, a college admissions consultancy in California. “Rather than viewing senioritis as a burnout phase, high school students should continue to develop their strong study habits and carry them into college.”

After making it this far, the last thing you want to do is to crash and burn at the finish line. Here are some tips on how to combat senioritis:

  • Keep the end goal in sight.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of fun.
  • Change things up a bit.
  • Stay organized and on schedule.

Keep the End Goal in Sight 

The goal is to successfully make it to graduation and then go off to college. But experts warn that even if you’ve already received an acceptance letter, poor senior year grades could change a college’s decision.

“You want to go to college, so knowing your admissions offer could be rescinded should motivate you to continue working at the same level you have throughout high school,” says Sara Zessar, founder of Discovery College Consulting in Colorado.

She suggests setting reasonable goals and making agreements with friends to hold one another accountable.

Witt says grappling with her desire to continue to do well in school while making the most of her senior year has been tough, but who you surround yourself with can help.

“If I am surrounded by people who are staying on top of their schoolwork while also making time to goof around and have fun, then I too will be able to keep a reasonable schoolwork-life balance,” Witt says.

Don’t Deprive Yourself of Fun 

Senior year is not about all work and no play. It’s OK to have fun and reward yourself, experts say.

Eng suggests taking a well-deserved break, like going on vacation or traveling abroad during spring break. But he advises not losing the good habits you’ve built.

“Life is all about balance, and you want to be sure you can maintain the habits and skills that you’ve accumulated throughout your high school journey. As they say, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” says Eng.

Zessar says it’s important to plan fun events throughout the semester “and spend quality time with friends and family before you leave for college.”

Change Things up a Bit

Sometimes just changing where you study and do schoolwork – like going to a coffee shop or your local library – can reinvigorate your motivation. So can participating in other activities that take you out of your normal high school routine.

“Try something new like a community engagement project, taking an interesting class or supporting your friends in their student clubs,” says Raj Mundra, interim deputy head of school for academics and student affairs at Phillips Academy.

Ellie Kirshner, a senior at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley in California, says she took advantage of a unique offsite research opportunity offered by her school. She is working with Happy Hollow Park and Zoo to help improve the red ruffed lemur habitat, to better simulate its natural environment.

“As someone who has always loved animals, getting to help and learn more about them is a very exciting prospect,” says Kirshner.

Stay Organized and On Schedule

Senioritis thrives on disorganization and poor time management. Experts suggest students use a planner, calendar or reminder app to help keep them on time and on task for daily academic and extracurricular activities.

“Stay organized and don’t procrastinate,” says Zessar.

This requires continuing good academic habits that transfer to college, like regularly attending class, being on time, submitting completed work when due and being prepared for tests.

“To make it to graduation, I am making sure that I’m not falling behind in any of my classes,” Witt says.

Having these attributes is especially important for students as they transition to the next chapter of life. Toby Walkervice president of BASIS Independent Schools, says the next step for seniors is to start preparing their mindset for college.

“Students need to organize their mind and organize themselves physically in preparation for the next year and beyond,” says Walker.