Counselors offer advice for avoiding senioritis

It’s the fourth quarter of the game, Pivonka says


Jake Langdon

Counselor Mrs. Mary Hemer ’09, with assistance from Muffin, offered advice to seniors for avoiding senioritis and staying on track during second semester.

Jake Langdon, Reporter and Videographer

As second semester begins, the age old sickness of senioritis kicks in for many in the Class of 2020. Senioritis is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Many students claim to be afflicted with this disease as their second semester progresses, but the counselors advise against giving in to this impulse. 

A simple way to stay motivated as described by school counselor Mrs. Mary Hemer ‘09, “is to sign up for classes you’re actually interested in. So that way you are more self motivated to actually learn it.” She also said, “Setting little motivational things like week by week” can lead to long term success. Another key she adds is to “take care of stuff at school so you don’t have to worry about it at home. You’re not going to be that interested in doing homework at home.”

Hemer said, “Once you get into those bad habits, it’s really hard to break. So a lot of times you guys have established really positive habits until towards the end of the first semester.” She then said, “If you don’t continue with those positive habits into college you’re not going to be able to snap your fingers and get right back into that mindset.” 

Counselor Mr. Andrew Smeathers simplified senior year, saying, “There’s no secret sauce. It really comes down to remembering all of the hard work that went into it and finishing up strong, and remembering the colleges that you got accepted to have a certain expectation for you.” 

In addition to this, Smeathers said, “Approaching college, there’s a likelihood that if you fail a class, you could not graduate.” While this is unlikely, it’s something that could stave off laziness later in the year. 

Another point Smeathers made is that “the teachers that you have put in a lot of work.” He said he believes that knowing the effort and dedication teachers put in should evoke respect from the students. He said, “You respect your teacher because your teacher is still going to show up and teach you.”

College counselor Ms. Kathy Pivonka explained this final semester with a sports analogy, saying, “The big thing I tell seniors is that you don’t stop playing in the fourth quarter. You have to finish strong. You worked hard for three and a half years.” Pivonka cuts the seniors some slack, saying, “I usually tell them nobody’s asking you to be perfect,” but she still holds an expectation for work to be done well. 

Pivonka concluded with her reasoning behind finishing strong. She said, “The students that kind of started strong and, you know, social life gets in and all of those things come into play and grades begin to drop a little bit. That kind of carries with you to college and you don’t want that to carry with you to college.” 

These three counselors, while their expectations are high, still want seniors to enjoy their final semester on the Hill. Simply continuing previous habits and scraping enough motivation to finish homework can go a long way in a successful finish to your journey here and beyond.