Finding a Cure for Senioritis

The term senioritis is defined as the “supposed affliction of students in their final year of education, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” Though it’s a colloquial word that is often given no serious thought, one might wonder if there is any real truth to its associated ‘symptoms.’ Perhaps it’s not just a flimsy excuse for poor work habits, but a particular form of burnout which is a psychological phenomenon with legitimate consequences. The cynicism and lethargy characterizing burnout is also seen with senioritis, and honestly? Four years of stress and pressure have varying effects on everyone. Here are some tips and tricks that are useful to remember, even if you don’t feel like remembering them:

1. Prioritize responsibilities  

There are times when it feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that you told yourself you must do. While it’s probably a good idea to get to all of your items at some point, learning how to efficiently and effectively prioritize responsibilities will help break down your goals into more manageable steps…which leads to my second point.

2. Take tasks one step at a time

Multi-tasking can be an important skill to have, but it’s not always the right approach. The future is inherently somewhat unknowable, and much of our fears and worries are borne out of an inability to control what hasn’t yet happened. So instead of forcing yourself to look ahead at what is daunting and distant, go at a pace that won’t hurt you.

3. Make time for self-care

This one seems like a given, but is it really? Most individuals forget that hobbies are a great way to recharge motivation and passion. Taking care of yourself is an investment and should be treated that way as well. Self-care also involves kindness towards yourself. Practice self-talk that is reflective of how you would treat and speak to a friend.

4. Establish a system of support

Learning how to rely on and receive support from others is not actually conflicting with an aptitude for independence. Loneliness is often a circumstance that can aggravate existing feelings of exhaustion, apathy, and tension. Scheduling breaks to see your friends, call a loved one from back home or participate in social situations through clubs can help level your mind and bring you back down to earth.

5. Always find something to look forward to

Make sure that your calendar doesn’t just look like this: test, test, assignment, project, test. Planning a trip to a favourite spot or going to watch a movie you’ve been excited for are things that can be incorporated into your schedule and give you something good to look forward to. If you don’t go out of your way to make these happen, they may never, because you’ll always justify a reason for doing something else instead (like schoolwork). But life should be more than just about meeting deadlines. It’s your last year of university, go out there and make some memories that’ll last you a lifetime.