The Season of Senior Slump Begins

You may want to avoid this type of behavior.

As we near spring, and the pressures of the college admission process relents, seniors may finally find themselves starting to relax, but how far should they let their responsibilities slide? In a recently posted New York Times Choice blog, Martha Merrill, dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College, warns students not to enter a senior slump: "We expect the students we admit will continue to demonstrate the traits that distinguished them during the admission process — throughout senior year and during the years spent on our campus. If you can’t maintain that level of success during your senior year, you cast doubt on your ability to succeed in college."

Not only will lowered performance raise red flags among admissions officers, but offers of acceptance could also be revoked, and the dean herself has admitted to revoking several over her years with the university. While this can sound a bit harsh, especially to parents who see how hard their kids have been working, this is more about wanting students to make a successful transition to college, rather than encouraging students to maintain high levels of stress. As Merrill puts it, "With applications in, seniors should take time to savor their final months of high school and enjoy family and friends. But they should also be using this important time in their lives to practice balancing academics with other commitments, and not fall victim to the "senior slack.""

Senioritis And The Second Semester Of Your Senior Year

Don't let your senioritis get the best of you

Don't let your senioritis get the best of you. Finish those English classes.

Nothing like getting that fat envelope in the mail, is there? Nope, nothing like it at all. First thing that comes to mind for most is, "I'm done." Images of fleeing, running through a field, perhaps jumping a prison wall. Glory days.

Not so fast. You have so little high school left in front of you, but so much... other... school... things. Or as those of us not suffering from senioritis would say, you've got opportunities in front of you. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that with your academic courses especially, maintaining decent grades is essential for holding your place in any class formed in 2011.

While the odds of your having an offer rescinded are low - about one in a hundred and fifty, even at the more selective schools - if you represent yourself one way and turn in a final transcript that is significantly different, you can expect trouble. Just have a look at this statement about senioritis from the director of admissions at the University of Washington in Seattle:

"When they say, 'I'm taking a fourth year of language, I'm taking AP (Advanced Placement) this and AP that,' and when you see their final transcripts, it is underwater basket weaving and intro to breathing ... you wonder if you are on the same planet," said Admissions Director Philip Ballinger. "They don't look the same. You were duped."

So take it easy, but not quite that easy. Keep those APs going and your foreign language too. And pass those classes, friends.

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