You can blame it on burn out, excitement, teenage rebellion, or post-college application celebrating, but one thing's for sure — senioritis is a real epidemic, and its main symptom of slacking off can get out of control. A mild case may not be a problem, as it will likely afflict all high school seniors at some point. Unfortunately, if it goes untreated, senioritis can have a negative effect on your final year of high school and beyond.

Here's how to keep senioritis from derailing your senior year and future college success.

Remember that senior year counts.

Just because college applications will be in by December doesn't mean your choice schools won't keep tabs on your progress. In fact, most schools want to see your final semester transcript to make sure you've performed consistently. Especially if you're seeking admission to a selective program or top-tier school, every semester — even your last one — counts. It's not unheard of for a college to pull back its offer of admission or a scholarship award to be rescinded if a student's performance changes significantly their senior year.

Balance the pressure with some fun.

Just because there are still exams to take and papers to write doesn't mean you can't enjoy college-bound excitement and senior year events. By learning to organize your school week so you can juggle admissions deadlines and everyday schoolwork, you can make time to create lasting bonds and memories with your high school friends.

Remember what it's all about.

You didn't work hard in school to blow it during the final months of high school. Sure, temptations may come up, such as hearing about carefree senior pals who declare it's "senior skip day," but if you pause to think about it, you'll realize a few hours of fun isn't worth the trouble you could get yourself into academically. Unexcused absences and chronic lateness can come back to haunt your GPA, so keep showing up for class on time. As for homework and studying, slacking off and developing bad habits now will only make it harder to ramp back up when you're a college freshman.

Enjoy the journey

While it might seem like senior year is dragging, before you blink it will be over. Hang in there. Although it's a lot of work, those fun senior year moments like prom, class trips, and awards nights will be here soon enough. Until then, make the most of your last year of high school before it flies by.

Look at it like this: Being a senior means you're in the home stretch toward the day when you'll earn your diploma and toss your graduation cap into the air. If senioritis tries to rear its ugly head, keep your eye on the finish line and get ready to make a new college start.

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