Staying Motivated After Getting into College Early

Staying Motivated After Getting into College Early

So you were accepted to college early action or even early decision! Congratulations! You’re in! Now you can just kick back, skip school a couple of days a week, and not do any of your homework, right?

You’ve probably heard of this condition before — it’s commonly known as senioritis — and now you have to deal with it months before your peers who are still waiting on college acceptances. Here are some strategies for getting through it.

Recognize that senioritis is not inevitable. You’ve probably heard seniors talking about it in past years, read about it on the internet, and been warned against it from lots of sources (including this one). But taking the attitude that it’s going to happen anyway, so you might as well make the best of it, is the wrong way to approach the latter part of your senior year.

Even if you do find yourself slacking off, remind yourself that you’re going to college because you want to learn. That was what kept you going through the whole grueling college application process, and that’s what should keep motivating you through these last few months of high school. As Andrew, a sophomore at Swarthmore College who was accepted early two years ago, says, “After getting accepted to college, you can do your work with less stress. However, less stress does not equal being a bad student. Simply put: do the work. It’s a great opportunity to focus on the learning rather than your grade.”

If you scoffed at point 2, think of it this way instead: your end-of-year grades still matter to colleges. If you don’t keep your grades up, you might be put on academic probation as soon as you get to college or even have your admission rescinded. As Andrew (and admissions officers) see it, “Goofing off during the second half of senior year is not very conducive to doing well in college. The jump is going to be that much bigger if you stop caring.”

Still another approach: make the most of your last few months in high school. “Just because you’ve gotten into another school doesn’t mean you should completely disregard the one you’re in now,” says Sarah, a first-year at New York University who was accepted there early. “If you check out early, you make for a much worse experience at school that could potentially be a really fun time.”

To keep yourself interested in being productive, start a side project that won’t eat up all of your time, but will still be a good diversion from the drudgery of schoolwork. What have you always wanted to do — make a short film? Write a novel? Start a blog about the college admissions process? Just work on that for an hour or two a day! Sarah says, “If you try tailoring second semester to what you like to do, it’ll be a lot easier to tolerate and [be] a good transition into college.”

And finally (this isn’t a tip for coping with senioritis, but it’s important nonetheless), “don’t be obnoxious,” says Sarah. “Nobody likes the kid who sleeps in class all the time and then cites … that they ‘already got into school’ when they occasionally roll over.”

Have any more thoughts or questions about early admissions? Let us know in the comment box below!