Whenever we approach the end of something, whether it’s a job or a school year or a project, it’s easy to lose motivation. This is such a universal issue that the concept of “senioritis” has become more common since the term was first coined in 1907. Today, the definition has expanded to include all students, not just seniors (grade 12) preparing for graduation.
According to Wikipedia, senioritis is the “decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers, or the end of the school year in general.” I would imagine that most of you have seen this in your students, and maybe even yourselves, to some degree. So how do we combat this and truly finish the school year well?
Set Goals: You can work with your children to set specific goals for the last few weeks of school. Some things just need to be completed (cleaning out lockers, getting up on time in the morning). Other things need to be completed to a high degree (final exams and projects). Be sure to include both academic and non-academic goals on your list. Last year, the senior class put together a challenge for the last 50 days of school. It included things like: compliment someone, spend time with family, clear someone’s lunch tray, and clean your room. Putting together a list of goals, mixing the serious and the fun, is a good way to keep the motivation strong until the end of the year.
Celebrate Accomplishments: Set aside time to celebrate what your kids have accomplished this year. This could be a new skill, their first band concert, or anything else that is important in your family. Often when we reach a goal, we simply start working on our next goal. Take a moment to appreciate the effort that went towards this goal and enjoy the sense of accomplishment. This is an important part of the process of setting and achieving goals.
Take Time to Rest: In the midst of the busyness that naturally comes at the end of a school year, rest is easy to forego. However, lack of rest actually makes it more difficult to finish our goals. Getting some extra sleep or prioritizing rest will do more towards helping you reach your goals than doing more things. When we are well-rested, we are more likely to work towards our goals and be kind to one another in the process.
Be Willing: Lack of motivation is a key hindrance to finishing well, and willingness is the natural remedy. Willing is defined as “ready, eager, or prepared to do something.” By setting goals, celebrating accomplishments, and taking time to rest, we are preparing ourselves to finish well. Being willing is about making a decision to do something, and following it through.
As we complete the last two and a half weeks of this school year, let’s make a commitment to finishing well. I encourage you to take some time this weekend to talk as a family about what that looks like to you, and to make a plan for the next few weeks.
Written by Shawna Wood
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