You’ve been in high school for three whole years now. You’ve been grinding out grades to the best of your ability, taking solace in the fact that your whole future depends on your performance here and now. You are working toward something. Your hard work matters. Until, suddenly, it doesn’t. Most seniors have experienced this feeling at least once in their final year of high school and know all too well the decrease in moral that comes with seemingly having no incentive to perform well in school. The worst part about this feeling is the constant underlying feeling that you should be doing better than you are. Even though you know grades don’t really matter you may catch yourself thinking about hypotheticals that strike fear into your very core: “What if my school’s retract their offers?” “What if I lose all of my scholarship money?” “What if I want to transfer and my grades this last semester aren’t up to snuff?” One way of doing this is by abiding by my simple .5 rule. This rule states that as long as you stay within .5 of the GPA that you were accepted into college with you will have no repercussions. Now, obviously this is not a universal rule. For instance, if you plan on transferring or barely got into an Ivy League school on a sports scholarship with a GPA of 3.0 on our 5.0 scale, you should more than likely not risk the lower GPA; but generally colleges don’t begin to penalize until around a 1.0 drop in GPA, so aiming for no lower than .5 should create no issues. Use a healthy amount of discretion while applying this strategy, but try not to worry to much so your final quarter of your senior year doesn’t become like so many other high school semesters – filled the anxiety and fear for the future. Though it may seem like a horrible thing to encourage, we are in the final stretch of our high school career, and if you you are far enough ahead then there is no way you can lose, so just slow down, relax and enjoy you victory.