Preparing for College

The Heartbreak of Senioritis

I've run a few marathons in my day, including Boston. When I've been training for those 26.2-mile endurance events, I've often thought of an analogy between a marathon and a K-12 educational career. There are some similarities. First of all, it can seem endless. It's better not to think about how far there is to go but, rather, about how far you've come. Also, there's the famous "Wall" with 10K to go. That's where your muscles have burned almost all of their glycogen and the lactic acid is sending waves of fatigue across your body, not to mention your mind.

In my experience in dealing with academic "marathoners," I've found that they sometimes hit their "wall" around this time of year, in the early spring, right after college acceptance letters come out. In addition to a gigantic sigh of relief (finally being able to exhale), and a blessed shout of joy in some cases, some seniors succumb to the overwhelming temptation to give in to that academic lactic acid and greatly slow their pace or, in some cases, even stop running and begin a nice, easy figurative stroll. This is called senioritis. It's more common than you may imagine, and it can have wildly negative effects.

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