Preparing for the Senior Year Slump

Though it’s still winter, spring is right around the corner. And if you are a university senior, that means that a senior year slump isn’t far away either. After at least three a half years of higher education many seniors come to believe that they’re entitled to an early break, and this is the time of the year when those feelings are most intense. Auto pilot beckons!

Why seniors slump

It’s natural that anytime we are coming down the home stretch in any venture that we decide it’s time to start coasting. After all, you’ve been working hard for the last few years and now it’s time to kick back and enjoy the final few months of your university experience.

senior year slump
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Another factor is fatigue. After several years of heavy studying, cramming for exams and worrying about grade point averages, you’ve just kind of had enough. Let’s face it, university is hard work and as you approach the end it’s almost natural to stumble a bit.

Finally, there’s the “I got this” line of thinking. If you’ve made it this far it’s a virtual certainty that you’ll graduate – there just aren’t that many goals left to accomplish, at least not as far university is concerned. The real world (no, not the MTV version) is calling, and it’s starting to get your attention. The whole university thing just isn’t as relevant as it was even one year ago.

But there are a few reasons why you should consider keeping up your efforts – or even accelerating them – at this late stage in the game.

This is your last shot at improving your grade point average

After 3+ years of worrying about your grade point average you’re probably just about over it. But this is no time to slack off, particularly if you’re at or near one of those GPA thresholds.

If your GPA is hovering around the 3.0 level a strong final push could make a huge difference in your job search. Though it is less than 1/10 of a point, the difference between a 3.02 and a 2.97 GPA could affect your success on the job front. A higher GPA not only means greater likelihood of finding a job, but it can also affect the salary you command.

A GPA that’s greater than 3.0 may not be anywhere near top of the class, but it is in the “good” category. 2.something – whether it’s 2.05 or 2.95 is considered solidly in the average category. Top employers don’t want to hire average students, they want good or better!

This last semester of your senior year may be your last chance to make that happen if you’re hovering on the edge. You don’t want to quit now.

This is the time to get into good motivational habits

Whether you plan to enter the job market or go on to graduate school at the and of the school year, now is an excellent time to get into good motivational habits. The future will be even more demanding than what you’ve experienced so far and you will need to prepare your self for that now.

Graduate school or employment will present a new series of even more difficult challenges so you’ll need to maintain and improve on habits that have allowed you to be successful up to this point. The spring semester of your senior year is no time to go soft on those good habits.

Preparing for the “real world” – be on top of your game!

One of the first things you’ll notice once you leave university is that your life will not have the kind of “punctuation marks” that you’ve come to know and love during your life as a student. Real life does not work on quarters, semesters or school years, and there is no summer vacation – at least not the kind that last for two or three months.

As a rule, one situation in life tends to roll right into another. This is particularly true when it comes to employment. You’ll start a job that you will measure in terms of years, and it will be punctuated only by occasional holidays and two or three weeks of vacation. Apart from that it tends to be business as usual – all the time. There may be times when you can coast a bit, but there’s rarely a time when you can slack off in your work or your responsibilities.

A different mindset is necessary to survive and thrive in that kind of environment. You may have something of a break once you finish school this spring, but once you begin working that new life will kick in immediately. It’s best to begin preparing for it now – the longer you have prepared for it, the easier the transition will be.

Start now to recognize the need to be on top of your game and functioning at peak efficiency at least most of the time. Though the school year – and your university career – will be ending in just a few months, the rest of your life will begin shortly after. And when it does, you’ll have to be ready to be in high production mode at all times.

The real world isn’t so accommodating when it comes slumps.

Are you starting to feel motivation slip away now that you’re in the home stretch of your senior year?

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11 years ago

I think it is also a time to get that career job! Usually recruiters are on campus in the Spring and you are interviewing. If you landed that plum job, you probably can take your foot off the accelerator a little.

11 years ago
Reply to  krantcents

Good point KC!

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