It’s October, which means it’s time for leaves changing, scary movies, cute fall photos and that nasty virus that spreads throughout school like the plague. The virus that’s so bad, you can’t get out of bed and and you just need to sleep. Senioritis. One of the most dangerous wide-spread diseases with side-effects that include fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation and procrastination. It’s not deadly, but it will kill your GPA.
It didn’t even occur to me that I had senioritis until sometime in the last few weeks. I cared so little for any of my work and I kept missing due dates, which is really unlike me. I was so burnt out and just didn’t have the motivation anymore. I realized that this was the feeling that everyone always talks about getting their senior year. Of course, we were seniors in high school and we would always say we had senioritis then, but we really had no idea.
Having senioritis in college is so different because for some of us, once we graduate we’re done with school forever. Some of us might immediately start grad school, maybe even at the same school where we attended undergrad. Either way, wherever we end up, those four long, extremely eventful years of college will be behind us and our lives will change.
It’s a scary thought, and that’s how senioritis exists. Some students know exactly what they’re doing, where they’re going right after they graduate. They already have a job lined up or they’re going to grad school and they just want the semester or year to be over so they can move on with their lives. They may have no motivation left because they don’t need these classes and this homework anymore. They’re so close to the finish line.
Others’ senioritis might come from not really knowing what the future holds yet. They might have applied for jobs or grad schools and still haven’t heard anything yet. Not knowing what’s going to happen can cause fear and anxiety, which cause people to react in different ways including procrastinating, avoiding responsibility, or choosing sleep over class. They’re worried, they’re stressed and they just don’t care about school anymore.
Senioritis hits pretty hard, and some of us don’t realize we have it until it knocks us over. I’ll be honest, I still have it and I’ll probably have it until the day I walk across the stage. But there’s various ways to cope with it.
1. Reward yourself
Every time you get through a homework assignment or study for a test, reward yourself by watching Netflix or going out to dinner with friends. That feeling of accomplishment makes it much easier to enjoy yourself rather than stressfully watching Bojack Horseman, knowing you’ve got a project due at midnight.
2. Don’t be afraid to say no to things
That club that they need you to kiosk for or plan an event for, that’s been fun and it’s been a good extracurricular, but it’s not more important than school. If your friends want you to go out but you know that if you don’t finish this paper now you never will, say “Sorry, not tonight!” You came to college to go to school and that is always going to be your number one priority. Saying no to things actually happens to be one of my favorite things to do. You should try it.
3. Talk to other friends who are graduating
While sometimes seeing what other seniors are doing after graduation becomes stressful because you start to compare yourself to them, a lot of the time it’s actually pretty helpful. They’re in the same boat as you, one way or another, and they are feeling just weird and stressed out at taking such a big step in life. See what they’re up to and maybe they have advice that can make the whole ordeal less overwhelming or it’ll make you feel better to see that they’re just as lost as you. Or maybe you can all have a crying sesh together.
4. Use on-campus resources
There are always people or orgs on campus that are around and willing to point you in the right direction. They might have job leads, apartment listing info, or anything you need that might put you in place to make you feel better about graduating.
5. Just go to class
It seems pointless and at this point in your college years, you consider class optional. But the more you skip class, the more behind and left out you’ll feel. Your assignments will make much more sense if you actually go to class and show your professor that you still care (even though you don’t).
No matter what stage of senioritis you’re in or the reason you have it, we’re all in this together. Don’t let your grades and mental health become victim to your senioritis. In a few months, this will all be over and you’ll realize that all that time you spent worrying and stressing did not compare to all the fun and magical memories that college brought you. The best cure for senioritis is to keep studying and work hard.