It’s dark, it’s still cold and everyone is wishing for sunshine. But the lack of motivation in spring semester is perhaps felt most by seniors. Senioritis is infecting upperclassmen.
“I have experienced it, since junior year actually,” senior Zach White said. “I think it’s generally accepted as what you feel when you’re like just holding on to your last legs in college, as bratty as that sounds.”
When I started feeling the sluggishness that can come with the final semester before graduation I tried to find a definition or a cure for senioritis.
Oxford English Dictionary defines this phenomenon as a supposed affliction that students in their final year experience, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.
The word has been around for over a hundred years with a rise in popularity since the turn of the century.
This popularity has resulted in several articles on how to beat senioritis. I found most of them to be unhelpful fluff aimed at concerned parents.
College Parents of America suggests making sure that a students doesn’t have too many easy classes because a harder course load means more motivation.
U.S New published 5 Tips to Battle College Senioritis. Some of their genius ideas were to “take care of yourself” and “get motivated.”
Getting motivated, even getting out of bed, has been difficult this semester. As a senior, my entire world is about to turn upside down come May and it’s hard to care about my assigned readings.
That said, I do have four methods for beating, or at least fighting senioritis.
One: Remember all the hard work. When I start an assignment and think about all the things I’d rather be doing, I try to picture myself as a first year. I owe that kid my best work, or at least a diploma. Younger me gave me the skills and tools I have now, so I try to use them.
Two: Make a post-graduation bucket list. This is a simple carrot strategy, a reward for after the work is done.
Three: Visit the career center. As terrifying and confusing as Handshake is, it’s worth the time and effort to set up your profile. UVM’s career center takes drop-ins from 1-2:30pm.
Four: Buddy system. It doesn’t have to be another senior but make one of your friends hold you accountable for getting work done.
Senior Mattie Friberg says he’s noticed that this spring semester is different than previous ones.
“The thing that keeps hitting me is that this isn’t summer break for me because there’s no school at the other end of it.” Friberg said. “It’s not like I can’t wait for the semester to end and go on break because once the semester ends it’s just the rest of my life. So that’s scary.”
Graduating is scary. Senioritis seems to be less a symptom of laziness than a result of the oncoming stress of entering the ‘real’ world.
Big decisions are coming, big results are right behind them and it doesn’t help that everyone seems to be watching. A lack of motivation can be understood.
“I have advice for preventing senioritis. It’s coming, don’t try to fight it,” White said.