Campus Cope: Senioritis

Courtesy of UCR Today
Courtesy of UCR Today

Many students would fight for the cure to senioritis; the problem, however, is we just don’t care. The cure may be graduation and that little piece of paper you paid thousands for. But until then, we have to sit in lecture for the millionth time, waste that millionth piece of binder paper and buy that millionth book that will just collect dust when it’s all over. “Read for homework” means no homework, “due tomorrow?” means do tomorrow and “get some sleep” means adding another nap between naps: Sound familiar?

Senioritis is usually introduced to students during their final stretch of high school, right before graduation. But they have something to look forward to, such as their last summer with hometown friends, college and new beginnings. When college seniors fall back into the familiar rut, what do we have to look forward to? Loan payments, job hunting and real world responsibilities … Is that my anxiety or a mini-stroke? As a senior who is counting my last days, I am stuck between “finish strong” and “I don’t give two shits.” (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t suffering from senioritis as I write this article.) It’s as though the marathon to graduation has just turned into a dramatic crawl with textbooks bound around our ankles. Come winter quarter, the flame that we started college with slowly starts to fizzle out. Here are a couple ways to keep it burning for the victorious torch lighting at the end.

How to avoid:

First to avoid is all-nighters, because they do not work. Studies have shown that the longer you refuse yourself sleep, the less effective recalling all that information will be. After the all-nighter, you have even fewer hours to sleep and fewer chances of passing the test, resulting in low grades and energy levels. Some students may have jobs or commitments that get out late which prevent them from studying even more, so it’s all about time management.

Keeping up is always much easier than catching up. But really, who is going to pick studying when that series is waiting for you on Netflix? The best coping and conservation strategy is telling yourself all those shows and “me time” will be there after your last exam, but until then, you control the size of your workload.

Past Campus Copes touched upon procrastination and how it haunts everyone. However, this edition is going to say it’s actually not that bad, as long as it’s done right. Procrastination is a natural method of prioritizing, a chance to sift through what needs to be done and what can wait. But do not get it confused with laziness; that’s just another symptom of senioritis. An hour to prioritize is different than sweating three weeks to write your senior thesis the night before.

The easiest way to overcome senioritis is just to wait until graduation … easier said than done. Whether you yearn for graduation after this quarter or seek therapy through spring break, each are effective methods to help replenish the weary student.

Coping with the inevitable:

All tips sound well and good. But let’s be honest, how many of us actually give a damn? The midyear burnout is almost a given. Hard-working seniors with jobs, outside obligations or just a life in general, have the motivation of a flat tire. We get to a point where we feel our chances of graduating will be fine if we coast through the rest of the school year. The thing is, though, at a certain part of the academic year, we just get so tired. But we need to ask ourselves, “What is life like after graduation?”

Right now, many of us make deadlines by the skin of our teeth. If we receive a grade that is less than expected, we shrug and think, “I’m still graduating.” But what is a bad grade to the real world? Termination of employment? Senioritis came back to haunt students four years after high school graduation. Does that mean in another four years we are going to pull all-nighters, with an equal ratio of Cup of Noodles and Red Bulls in our cubicle? I am not one to judge, but for myself, it may be time to grow up. I am not going to be a student forever, nor do I want to be. But I do have to prepare for the real world that is coming in less than six weeks (and that mini-stroke is back).

So if you feel like you need to go to the doctor because you’re feeling run-down and restless, don’t bother (unless it’s serious) — you are suffering from senioritis. Once the caps are thrown into the air and you drive away from UCR for the last time, release that breath that you have been holding the entire time you have been in college … and sigh it out onto your revamped resume. If you thought you were tired before, you have another thing coming.

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