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Second Semester Senior Slack-off Syndrome

JW MullerJW Muller Registered User Posts: 432 Member
edited January 2009 in Parents Forum
My D, after the apparently Herculean effort needed to get all A's 1st Semester Senior Year, which brought her GPA (3.7) up more in line with her SAT's (2260), now is looking forward to taking it easy 2d Semester. She reasons that since the apps are all in and thus the grades don't count, there is no particular reason to "stress" over her grades. Don't worry, we are told, an admission won't be revoked if the GPA is above 3.0.

As parents, we find this attitude antithetical to that ethic we have sought to inculcate, of working hard, seeking always to do one's best, for excelling and learning for its own sake, but this situation involves particular and new circumstances, we are not prepared to deal with it.

Anybody have any advice on dealing with Second Semester Senior Slack-off Syndrome?
Post edited by JW Muller on
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Replies to: Second Semester Senior Slack-off Syndrome

  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,790 Senior Member
    Serenity Prayer? Also, try to enjoy the remaining days with her. I read a book, I think it was called "The Launching Years; How to Parent something......"
  • DougBetsyDougBetsy Registered User Posts: 5,830 Senior Member
    No disputing it. "Senioritis" is one of the worst teenage afflictions. Unfortunately, I have never met a 12th grader immune to it nor a parent able to control/prevent it.

    I've only got a junior, so I don't have any advice based on experience. However, based on what I remember from 1982, I will declare success if/when see my kids maintain high standards to the end of Q3. Anything after that will be bonus.

    BTW, I've heard the next 6 or 7 months referred to as "fouling the nest" syndrome. It's when kids start acting out so the imminent college separation is welcome, not painful.
  • raelahraelah Registered User Posts: 806 Member
    Don't try to fight her on it. I'm not a parent - disclaimer! - but I can tell you, she probably cares more about her grades than she is letting on. While she may work a little less hard this semester, she's earned it, and you should let her. Senioritis is totally normal, and she's right, there really is no reason to "stress" now. She can get a couple of Bs, it won't be the end of the world. In reality, it's good that she can get this semester a little more relaxed in order to prepare for the upcoming stress of college. So just let her finish out her high school career on a nice, relaxed "zen" type semester, and don't worry.

    Plus, if you try to force her to get good grades and work when she doesn't want to, she's PROBABLY just going to lash out at you and say things like: "I'm REALLY going to miss all this nagging next year when I'm at college!" in a very sarcastic tone. So let her take responsibility for her own study habits this semester, it's good practice for the next four years when you won't be there to remind her and encourage her all the time. Self-motivation is a wonderful skill.
  • JW MullerJW Muller Registered User Posts: 432 Member
    We do have experience. With our S, who is now a college freshman, had slacked off the entirety of his high school career, so there wasn't much change. Things seemed much easier at school, however, as managed to get all A's and a B seemingly effortlessly.

    Then after graduation, he had no job and nothing to do. It was horrible. Unemployed adult hanging around our house. But then after a week he got a full time job working at a call center over the summer. It was immediately wonderful. He would tromp off to work every day and earned $5000 over the summer.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,005 Senior Member
    There is a huge reason for keeping grades up 2nd semester -in case you are waitlisted to your top schools or need to transfer later on. Our D1 kept her grades up to the end. She was waitlisted at two schools. Her GC faxed over her second semester's interim grades and her teachers' writeups about her (at midterm teachers do a writeup on how each student is doing) to her waitlisted schools. The writeups were glowing because she was one of the very few seniors that were still working. We believe that's why she got off both waitlists.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Registered User Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    I couldn't agree more with raelah.

    I slacked off a little second semester of senior year, and my parents let me. And I totally respected them for it. They were letting me make my own decisions (and mistakes, come third quarter progress reports).

    I didn't know a single kid come second semester of last year who didn't slack off a little. Some kids overdid it and had to go to summer school in order to earn a diploma.

    Now granted, I was taking a very easy schedule senior year (3 academic courses that weren't super rigorous and 2 "easy A's" in choir and teacher's aide), so slacking off was kind of granted. But still, it felt so nice after three years of hard work to be able to take it easy that last semester. Especially since I really over-did it Junior year and kinda burned myself out.

    Not to mention that when I got to college, I felt rested and I was ready to love school again. I think senioritis is a good thing. Let her rest so she'll be ready and rested when college comes.
  • historymomhistorymom Registered User Posts: 3,467 Senior Member
    My nephew and his buddies adopted the attitude that working to earn any grade higher than was necessary to avoid being rescinded was a waste of time. Nephew finished his last semester of hs w/ straight Cs but finished his first semester in college with a 3.7.

    I have two seniors this year and while one is experiencing senioritis, the other still has the attitude that "as long as there is an A to earn I will go for it" I don't expect that will last and to be honest I hope she takes it a little easier, lets go and has a bit more fun.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    There are a couple threads on CC where students slacked off enough to get a D in a course and are now worried they'll be rescinded from the UCs they applied to. It's a real worry since the UCs can and sometimes do rescind admission if the grades drop to this point and I'm sure some other colleges follow the same practice.

    On another practical level, overall GPA, class rank, etc. usually enters the equation for merit scholarships from the school as well as private entities. The chances of being awarded one go down as the grades go down.

    I think the summer between HS and college is a good time to slack on schoolwork (but not on working at a job and saving money).
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 6,146 Senior Member
    As parents, we find this attitude antithetical to that ethic we have sought to inculcate
    So that means you don't approve?

    We were somewhat disappointed to find the school totally enabled senioritis; teachers of 2nd semester seniors expected almost nothing from their students. I guess many years of experience will do that to you.
  • JW MullerJW Muller Registered User Posts: 432 Member
    So that means you don't approve?

    Har har. I didn't just say that I didn't approve. I gave the specific reason. If I toss about a few obscure words, that is to the betterment of the CC'ers who will be taking the SAT, as reading our posts can double as SAT prep.
  • historymomhistorymom Registered User Posts: 3,467 Senior Member
    The hs where I teach and my kids attend/will attend has seniors doing a Sr. Project which is supposed to combat senioritis by giving the students something they choose to work on the final semester. The Sr. teachers still require effort and homework and assign tests. They continue to establish a standard though many of the kids simply are done and won't go over the bar.

    I am not condoning it and it is a matter of degree but if your senior getting More Bs and even some Cs while taking a lighter load in their second semester is the worst of your parenting problems you've got it pretty good :)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,674 Senior Member
    Just told the kids that they could either: 1) continue at their academic pace; or, 2) slow down AND get a job. Their choice. :)
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    Ummm...

    AP tests in May?
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Registered User Posts: 5,046 Senior Member
    My daughter did the same thing last year. The minute she got the news she was going to a college somewhere, she slacked off. She warned me she would not stay late to study, etc.. She also researched what's the lowest grade she can get before her offer gets rescinded. Needless to say, I was really upset about her final grades. However, the payback is that I made her promise that she does not repeat this behavior in college. So far so good. She does not have perfect grades but they are very good for the first term.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 32,047 Senior Member
    Having been deferred from two schools and with APs looming in May, Mathson didn't do much slacking until the end of May and June, when I have to admit I felt he deserved it.
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