When senioritis strikes students

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Second semester, senior year of high school: Senioritis hits like the flu. Students' hard work either has or hasn't paid off by this point; many have been accepted into universities, and some have secured scholarship money to help pay for higher education. Others are eyeing trade schools, planning to enter the full-time workforce...and concentrating on anything but schoolwork.

The symptoms are lack of motivation, disinterest in classes, withdrawal from extracurricular activities, and general apathy regarding anything but the people they're dating. According to a student at New Jersey's Madison High School, the causes and conditions don't have favorites. "Let me assure you," the writer says, "true senioritis applies only to those two-hundred-plus members of the Class of 2012 who have entered into the home stretch."

There's some comfort in knowing that others are going through it, too. But the fact that they are is part of the problem, according to an eHow article on fending off senioritis. Having someone to motivate an affected student -- a friend, a teacher, a sibling -- can help keep the student focused on school when he's distracted with everything but.

The article also goes on to suggest planning coursework in advance, avoiding procrastination (a tall order for most), and saving the slacking for the weekend -- all helpful tips in powering through the last part of senior year.

But senioritis symptoms can strike students at any grade level during the waning months of the academic calendar. The Houstonian, a campus paper for Sam Houston State University, suggests that college students should do everything they can to stay organized and take advantage of campus resources while they still have them. Spend time in the library, enlist the help of a tutor, actually pay attention in class. Why not? You're paying for it.

Spring fever creates particular challenges for teachers, who are looking forward to the summer break themselves and have to contend with (even deeper) distractions among students. U.S. News & World Report suggests that teachers take classes outdoors during warmer weather to motivate students and save the most interesting parts of the curriculum for later in the school year.

Is it dangerous? Not as much as other conditions ending in "itis." It won't send you to the hospital, but it can reduce both your attendance and your grades. So fighting it is always a good idea, even though, as Madison High School's Dodger Online points out, there's no cure for senioritis -- except summer.

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