Staying Motivated After Getting Into College

—Jamie McEachin, Head Copy Editor—

For seniors in their last year of high school, the oncoming stretch of year between the glory of our midterm-less  three-week winter break and the light-at- the-end-of-the-tunnel that is spring break is going to seem endless and painful. Though it has already been broken up by the thrill of snow days, the one thing that seniors can most look forward to is also the most nerve-wracking: hearing back from the colleges we applied to. For something that is so essential to our futures, if we are college-bound, hearing back from colleges always seems a bit anticlimactic compared to the absolute joy that is expected. Sure, now we can actually go to college somewhere—but the gap between Early Action admissions decisions and Regular Decision acceptances has never felt longer.  

Screenshot 2018-01-19 at 12.55.49 PMSo what can we do in the meantime? Hopefully, keep our grades up. But realistically, seniors have been feeling an overwhelming, almost aggressive lack of motivation since we got our first acceptance letter. And if we’re being honest, the lack of motivation and concentration on high school things has been dramatically waning since September 4, 2017. It’s amazingly easy to fall into the trap of not caring about high school grades when the end is so close in sight; but if you’re not careful, colleges may not be so interested in your attendance with that D you got in Physics in the third 9-weeks.

How can you stay motivated enough to keep your grades stable, or maybe even improve them? Do the scariest thing first: look at the grade range that your top school accepts for seniors in the last quarter of high school, and make sure you keep that range in mind when you are deciding if you will study for a test or grab food with friends instead. While it hopefully never becomes that dire, you will always know where you fall in terms of your senior GPA.

Secondly, really truly decide to not look at your phone when doing schoolwork. It’s so easy to waste hours absentmindedly scrolling through Instagram or online shopping, but those hours add up when you’re avoiding homework. Try to develop self-control when it comes to your phone, and not let it distract you too much. And try to spend your free time, at least every once in awhile, doing something with some value; that why you’ll feel more productive in general and stop the endless cycle of scrolling absentmindedly.

It’s probably a good idea to start building up again the study habits that got us through 3 years of high school; when we go onto college courses, it would be nice to still have the ability to do coursework and not struggle from rustiness the first semester.