How to Mitigate Your [Collegiate] Senior Slide

It’s the second half of senior year, and you just crushed your fifteenth beer. The clock’s struck 2:00 AM, and you somehow sift through the booze-soaked thought catalogue in your brain to remember that you need to set an alarm for that general English class you have tomorrow at 9:55. You aren’t alone. Thousands of college students each year hit a point where they have an awesome job locked down in the fall, but a few classes to push through in the spring. This is where possibly the hardest battle of their academic lives is fought because it’s pretty hard to care at that point when they know they will work the rest of their lives anyway. But as that funny lookin’ alien in Star Wars once said, “it’s a trap!” A trap that could very well kick your future to the curb if you let it. The number of students who don’t pass that one class that they need to slide into their 50k a year job is staggering. If you mustn’t give a rat’s hindquarters, at least follow these tips to stay afloat.

 Show up

    • Bring a laptop, phone, ear buds, Gatorade and a snack. Do not miss exams. They say that 80% of success is showing up, and they’re pretty much right. You can pretty well guarantee a passing grade by showing up physically, regardless if you’re there mentally. Unless you have one of those teachers who are big on the participation points. Or one who’s all anal about not having computers out. The good news is, the snack and drink are probably a safe bet with most professors so at least you won’t starve. Have some sympathy for the ones who don’t allow electronics, too. They just want you to learn more.


    • Try to not be staring at your phone when the prof makes eye contact with you. Heck, even ask a question here and there, it can’t hurt. Even if you’re doing the most bottom of the barrel work, participation will show some signs you’re trying and lock in your potential for pity points if it comes down to begging for a pass in the end.


    • Plan bathroom breaks to roam around. You should budget out at least 10-15 minutes of the class for a bathroom trip, with about 5 of those minutes actually bathrooming. If you do want to hide behind the wall of a stall, I always had success with bringing Clash of Clans in there to kill a good 5 to 8 minutes each time.
    • Also, don’t forget that you paid money for that roaming time. Big ol’ looming loan money.


    •  Do assignments, even if the bare minimum. It isn’t that hard to race through an assignment and do C/C- quality work if you have some brain floatin’ around in there. What is hard is trying to complain your grades up more than one or two percentage points at the end in their office. Doable yes, but much harder than just getting consistent sub-par work in for those grades you would end up begging for.


    • The king of assignments, projects can really put your grades below sea level, or C level, lol, if you don’t properly brace yourself. Make sure to either get into a good group and work with them or commit the epitome of all sleaze things and try being part of a group where you can get away with not showing up and get your name on it. I’ve only been unlucky in college once with a bad group member not showing up and expecting credit, so I would seriously recommend you not be that person.


    • Following these methods should net you passing grades, but the key word here is passing. Could be a nice shiny C+, or it could be a precarious C- capable of sending your education into overtime and gifting you the title of super senior. Just be prepared for sub-par grades, and before you really let the wheels fall off for the senior slide, discretely confirm that your future employer will not collect a transcript for that semester.

Best of luck on the slide.