The New ‘Senioritis’: Finding Your Motivation

The school year is almost over and motivation for many high school seniors is quite low.

Commonly known as “senioritis,” this is the time after college acceptances arrive and high school seniors start to feel like school isn’t important.

Senioritis often has a negative connotation. But past #NACACreads author Ned Johnson thinks the term and the feeling need a rebrand.

Johnson recently shared his views with The New York Times.

“For the next few months, the rules are very different. Teachers and parents complain that they can’t get teenagers to do anything. Some have even proposed eliminating senior year. But I see the end of senior year as an opportunity for kids to figure out their inner motivation, post college acceptance,” he wrote.

“For kids who have been grinding for too long, the second semester can be downtime to recharge. But I also encourage students to use this time with intention, as it will help them enormously to be in touch with what matters to them. They can make themselves their senior project.”

He fears that instead of a time of “freedom,” the end of senior year is “characterized by a sense of purposelessness.” Students have gotten too used to external motivators and need to learn how to motive themselves.

He offers some suggestions for making the most out of this period of senioritis, including getting a job, practicing “adulting,” and taking a technology break.

Read Johnson’s full list of suggestions in The New York Times and explore NACAC’s resource on senioritis.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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