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How high school seniors are coping with senioritis and burnout

It’s about that time of the school year when students start to drag their feet and struggle through the last home stretch. (Catherine McQueen/Getty Images)
It’s about that time of the school year when students start to drag their feet and struggle through the last home stretch. (Catherine McQueen/Getty Images)

Find out more about the Class of 2024.

There’s a reason why the term “senioritis” exists.

With only a few weeks left before the Class of 2024 leaves the high school cocoon and enters the hallowed halls of university, senior students are dragging their feet. Despite being at the home stretch of their high school career, for seniors, the last few weeks are when lack of motivation truly hits hard.

Between dealing with their course load, any after-school jobs they work at, and getting all their college affairs in order, high school seniors have just about had it.

We speak to Class of 2024 students An’Davantae’ Bussey and Leanne Nasser about coping with senioritis and burnout as they complete their final stretch of high school.

They’re also given tips and advice by child psychologist and author Ellen Braaten, whose latest book is “Bright Kids Who Couldn’t Care Less: How to Rekindle Your Child’s Motivation.”

What keeps them going

An’davantae’ Bussey: “Definitely just trying to enjoy everything as much as possible this year. Whatever the outcome may be, just enjoying the last time that I’d be putting on the jerseys, the last concerts, the last games of everything. I am just trying to enjoy all of it.”

Leanne Nasser: “I’ve been trying to find motivation in things like senior events and counting down the days. I think I have 40-something school days left. So me and my friends are counting down the days. And towards the end of the year, we have all of our senior events like our senior barbecue, our senior lock-in, senior skip day. And I think that’s like a big part of motivating me to continue going further.”

Advice on how to prevent burnout

Dr. Ellen Braaten: “I tell parents and students to look at their goals, start to talk about the future — not just next year, but five years from now, ten years from now. What’s the kind of life that you want? And what are the things that you’re doing now that will get you there and what are the things that you can cut?”


Hafsa Quraishi produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Catherine Welch. Quraishi also adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.