As the academic year winds down and the temperature outside heat up, seniors may be thinking more about their final days of school than their final exams. Staying focused through the finish line is tough, but luckily cheerleading has prepared you for it!

Every cheerleader knows what it feels like to stand on the sidelines during a rough game, or to be on the competition mat unable to hit a stunt you’ve done 100 times. The crowd deflates, and it’s the squad’s job to bring the energy back up. That ability to stay positive even when the scores aren’t looking great is key to cheering, and it’s that power that cheerleaders channel when senioritis sets in. Even if you’re feeling sluggish on the inside, a cheerleader’s greatest strength is pushing through to positive energy. When you feel that “Ugh, I can’t wait to graduate” bug buzzing around, whip out your most dazzling smile and hit your next motion. 

Cheerleaders run on routines, whether it’s sticking to a workout plan or hitting the beats of competition music in perfect sync. Routines are a great tool in the classroom, and personal routines can be a student’s best friend, especially at the end of the year. For seniors, the cheer season is winding down or finished during those last few months of school, which means that the time once dedicated to practice, games, and competitions is open for new activities. 

Keep it social with with a group workout session (maybe a jog around campus with fellow graduating cheerleaders?), volunteer work, or study sessions at the library. Come together and support one another to the final day of classes! When you’re cheering on a friend to achieve their goals, you’re motivating yourself as well, and your friends are rooting for you, too. Cheer motivation!

On days where it’s harder to coordinate group activities, own your alone time. Pencil yourself in for ten minutes of lounging on the couch daydreaming about summer vacation, and when the timer on your phone chirps that time is up, start a new routine of checking off boxes. Consider tackling a project a week, like cleaning out your closet or making a study guide and flashcards for your final exams. Even small tasks build up to big progress, and staying busy is a great reminder that there’s work to be done and accomplishments to achieve.

Breaks are important. Running your competition routine over and over helps you perfect it, but never stopping for water and a quick stretch would do more harm than good! When you’re having a tough time focusing on an assignment or a study guide, commit to working for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, and then taking a five minute break to relax and recharge your battery. If you can, get up from your work space and go outside for a change of scenery and fresh air that will re-energize your next burst of productivity.

Get creative! Put together a “Get It Done” playlist that puts you in the working zone. Make a collage of magazine clippings, print-outs, and handwritten goals, and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it every morning before you head to school. Come together with your study group and design a poster that combines tricky information to remember with pictures, colors, or designs that will provide a memory trick to help you remember. Choreograph a cheer to memorize dates and names.

Just because the cheer season is over doesn’t mean your spirit has retired. Decorate one another’s lockers and sign one them with “You Got This” messages to keep each other motivated. Wear your competition bow to your exams for that extra boost of confidence. Tie a ribbon around your pencil for a portable spirit stick to keep your energy up.

Congratulations and good luck to graduating seniors!