Thursday, March 13, 2014

An OnCourse article on Senioritis just about 4 years ago

You may have gotten a flu shot, but there is no vaccination for Senioritis, the dreaded affliction that attacks in the last days of high school. Especially during the latter spring months of senior year, many students find it difficult to care about studies and are desperate to move on to college, work or really anything that isn't high school.

After 12 years of school, the same schedules and the same people, most seniors are ready for something else. (Kindergarten doesn't count, because who didn't love that year. Finger painting, free play and all the Play Dough you can eat. But school doesn't stay like that.)

Like the common cold, Senioritis doesn't have a cure, but there are methods to deal with the symptoms.

• Symptom #1: Desire to blow off school work.
Maybe you're sure you have enough credits to graduate. Maybe you've already been accepted to the college of your choice. Maybe you've already decided you don't want to go off to college. So why bother? Well, your main reason to do good work should never be to impress college admissions committees. Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (NIV).

• Symptom #2: Hating every day because you want to be out.
As you mark the days until graduation off on the calendar, you may feel as though you are a prisoner carving the days on the cell wall. But there are valuable things that can happen during these days.

You are spending concentrated time with friends that you might not get to see as much--if at all--in the days and years to come after graduation. Don't miss the opportunities for fun. Don't miss the opportunities to tell people about Jesus. You have friends who really need Him. What better time than in these last days? Each day should be used to its fullest, as Psalm 118:24 says: "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (NIV).

• Symptom #3: Skipping out on church and youth group.
In my youth ministry experience, I've noticed that during the last days of the senior year, some students become scarce at youth group and Sunday school. With so much to cram into those last few months, it's easy to justify skipping church. But, resist the temptation.

The juniors, sophomores and especially the lowly freshmen look to you for leadership. Yeah, a lot of the lessons and activities are things you've done before. But it might not be about what you get out of church but what you can give.

As the writer of Hebrews wrote, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (10:25, NIV). I think the Day in context means the Lord's return, but Graduation Day could work as well.

Other symptoms may also characterize Senioritis, but the important thing to remember is that you will get through this year. It can still be an excellent time, if you allow it to be the Lord's time.

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