Don’t let senioritis get you in its grips. Finishing out your senior year with strong grades will let you end on a high note, protect your academic standing and may even garner some graduation awards and scholarship money.

Explore some of the reasons to keep your nose in the books during those last few weeks of high school.

  • Colleges actually do care about how you perform as high school winds down. You may have noticed on your admissions material that your school expects to receive a transcript for the final semester. Even though you’ve already been admitted, if there’s a significant slip in your grades, your college has every right to retract your offer.
  • You want to leave a lasting impression. You worked hard all year, so why not finish strong and get the academic accolades you deserve?
  • Good grades can mean more money in your pocket. Sometimes there are rewards for good grades that go beyond a pat on the back from mom and dad. From loan programs that reward borrowers for maintaining a strong GPA in college to scholarship awards that your school might nominate you for, staying focused on your studies can literally pay off.

So how do you keep your grades up with so much end-of-year excitement going on? Here are some tips for staying productive through those last few weeks:

  • Get a jump on your studies. In anticipation of events that could keep you busy in the evening, like prom, awards ceremonies or parties to wrap up an extracurricular season, try to stay ahead of assignments. For instance, if you know an exam is scheduled for the day after senior awards night, study a little extra in the days leading up to it.
  • Utilize your downtime. If you plan to spend your evenings out, make sure to find other times during the day when you can get your work done. Even small pockets of time can be helpful for reviewing notes and working on papers. Load up your smartphone with study materials so you can review on the go. Take advantage of your commute, breaks between classes and any other downtime you have to catch up.
  • Learn to say no. It’s very tempting to want to join friends on “senior cut days,” but think about what you have to lose. Before you know it, you’ll have the whole summer to create some lasting memories with your high school friends before heading off to college.

There’s no doubt that it can be hard to stay focused on high school when the excitement of graduation and anticipation of college is all around you, but you can do it. Once you receive your final report card and diploma, your hard-earned break from the books can truly begin.