Experiencing Senioritis in College

            I applied to Kenyon Early Decision. I was accepted in December, and by Winter Break my family had submitted the first down payment. I had the entirety of my last semester of high school to “only try hard enough to pass.” I still wrote papers and did my homework, but I would be lying if I said that I studied for every quiz or read every chapter of my textbooks thoroughly. I was already looking forward to move-in day in August, and only completely failing a class could stop me.

            I suffered from senioritis pretty hard in high school. But it was allowed, and in fact encouraged. It became almost a sort of competition: who could slack off the most? Who could get just enough points on an exam to slide by?

            I was looking forward to moving out of my parents’ house, mostly, and maybe meeting some new people. But for me, college was just an extension of high school. I knew that it was going to be full of academic challenges, late nights up writing papers and lots of flashcards. The move to college didn’t seem to me as any sort of major life transition.

            But here’s the thing: I plan to end my education after college. I have absolutely no desire to go to grad school and get any other degree besides my Bachelor’s. The industry I plan to go into does not require it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t change my mind anytime in the future, but as of right now, my academic career will be ending in May. And I am absolutely ready for it to end. Opposed to the transition after high school, the transition coming after college will be a major one. I will move from the completely academic world of a liberal arts college to the completely corporate professional world.

            Though I am so completely ready for my academic career to end, I am not at all encouraged to slack off this year. Job recruiters are going to be looking at my GPA as a representation of all of my four years in college, not just the first three. It almost seems as if I am in a different sort of conversation with my peers: who can jam their days with the most stress-filled moments, or who can suffer from the most panic attacks over yet-to-be-started papers. There are also our Senior Comps to worry about, and it seems like I can’t go a day without hearing about them in some sort of exasperated tone.

            I am not only sick of living in a completely academic environment, but I am also growing sick of living in Gambier, Ohio. At no other times in the past three years have I felt that irresistible itch to travel or go on adventures than I am feeling right now. Perhaps it is because I have a car this year, so I finally have 24-7 access to transportation. Perhaps it is because I spent last summer in New York City, where new adventures were literally around every corner. But I can’t help but get frustrated when I want to get food late at night and not only is every restaurant in Gambier closed early, but also almost every restaurant in neighboring Mt. Vernon. Or if I want to go out dancing, or laser tagging, or go meander through a street fair, or just spend a few hours window shopping in front of endless storefronts, and I can’t do any of that here.

            I have spent the good part of my second-to-last semester at Kenyon feeling trapped, both in the constant academic environment and in the small town atmosphere of Gambier. But maybe this feeling of senioritis is a good thing. Maybe this means that I am ready to enter the professional world, hopefully in New York City again. The transition post-graduation, then, won’t be as painful.

           

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