College seniors are rapidly approaching graduate and many have caught the highly contagious ailment: senioritis. However, the classes and experiences one takes during their final semester can have a lasting impact on professional or graduate school aspirations. Professors, advisors and internship supervisors will remember your performance that final semester and those impressions could impact your grades, chances for recommendation letters and even job offers.
Here are some common senioritis symptom and cures:
- Study slack-off. You think you are close enough to graduation that slacking off a bit won’t impact your overall grades. Think again. Senior workshop courses, capstones and thesis courses contain some of the most important content and portfolio building assignments. Many of these courses require you to work independently and manage your time accordingly. This discipline will serve you well when you are employed in the real world…where slackers need not apply.
- The last hurrah! After graduation you are going to quickly score a full-time job so you better party now, right? Take it easy. While the social aspect of senior year is fun, too much fun can hurt your health, your study habits and your grades. Texting or sleeping in class due to social life fun will annoy your professors and can negatively impact your grades. You’d hate to be stuck taking a summer class because you had too much fun heading towards graduation to do your work.
- Single focus…on that degree. Many students rush to get the degree in hand, but don’t take advantage of the college experience. A degree doesn’t determine success. The knowledge, skills, experiences and connections you make in college are the ingredients you need to cook up a great career and land you dream job.
- Aloof attitudes. You’ve done your time, you have a great internship, why do you need to stay involved in class or in clubs? Professors will fondly remember and support students who are actively involved in class discussions, club initiatives and who are passionate about their school and work lives. These are the people who you’ll need to serve as professional or graduate school references. I can’t count all of the times a student who slacked in class or had a bad attitude called me after graduation for a recommendation letter or reference….which I couldn’t give. Don’t alienate faculty mentors…we are likely to be lifetime advocates for your success.
- Denial. You work hard to finish college and when graduation and the reality of the job search, bills and a life time of work rushes towards you, you don’t want to face it. College can be the greatest time of your life, but it should also serve as a jumping board from which to launch a productive, happy and meaningful life. Don’t get paralyzed by the unknown.
Students who take responsibility for their choices (good and bad) and who strive to learn and grow will achieve. Fight off senioritis, enjoy the remaining few months of college and take control of your academic and career path. Be resourceful, strengthen ties with mentors and be confident. Success and happiness are contagious too!