Welcome to the final lap, seniors. The checkered flag waves in the distance, ready for you to claim a spot on the winner’s podium — in this case, your graduation ceremony. Your excitement builds as you spot the finish line, but quickly fades when you realize there’s a roadblock up ahead. Senioritis. Over the years, students become burdened by a lack of motivation and performance leading up to their senior year. The senioritis affliction spells trouble for attendance records and GPA. Nobody’s safe. If seniors want to capture the checkered flag, they must work their way around senioritis roadblocks. Continue to push through and rein in a successful last year of college.
Keep reading for 10 signs that you suffer from a serious case of senioritis and ways to combat senioritis roadblocks.
10. You wake up with an urge to drop out (only a few more months to go!)
Your default alarm ringtone screeches in your ears to wake you up for another day, but your fingers mechanically find their way towards the dismiss button. You know you should get ready but instead, you spend the next ten minutes fast-forwarding through the five stages of grief. First, you deny the fact that it’s morning, then anger settles in. You refuse to get up and come to the conclusion that life is unfair. You bargain for a few minutes to sleep in, but it doesn’t last long. Depression kicks down your door because ten minutes flew by and you’re running late now. You contemplate dropping out, only to accept your fate. Now, look forward to waking up every day for your full-time job — except earlier. To push through your difficult mornings, replace your ringtone with a more pleasant sound. Write a daily affirmation reminder on your phone calendar to bring light and joy to your morning.
9. You show up to class in comfort-ready wear
Jeans? Too restricting. You need something stretchy, big and snug to conquer your 8 a.m. class. What does the typical senior wear on campus? Exhibit A: You own five pairs of the same colored leggings that you wear five days in a row. People think you don’t wash your clothes, but you know the truth. Exhibit B: Gym shorts and a light t-shirt that you made a split-second decision on wearing. Exhibit C: Just rolled out of bed wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt (basically your PJs). If you have to pry yourself from bed, you might as well take the coziness with you. Some people benefit from comfort foods, but seniors benefit from comfort clothes.
8. You check the clock every 10 seconds
Ever heard the phrase, “A watched pot never boils?” The same goes for seniors watching a ticking wall clock. Tick. Tick. Tick. Your eyes remain glued to the hand as it gently passes over every tick mark. Time is not going by any faster and you end up frustrated. You fidget around in your seat, check your phone or zone out. You feel impatient all day, every day. You try to listen, but your thoughts drift to activities you would rather be doing than sitting in a lecture. Funny enough, try doodling on notebook paper. As you listen to the lecturer, try to draw what he or she talks about. Improving your drawing skills equals improving your listening skills.
7. You slack off in class or skip class entirely
Seniors resort to weighing the pros and cons of attending a lecture. Would you rather exert the energy to go to class or save your energy to work from home? “For one of my classes, attendance isn’t required and for another, the instructor does not really enforce it. So, it just doesn’t feel necessary,” University of Florida senior Maria Valdivia said. “I’ve mostly been able to stay on track with school and extracurriculars but it’s more difficult to stay motivated knowing that I’ll be out the door in April.” Try taking a mental health day to step back from academics altogether. Once you refresh your mind, come back ready to finish the semester strong. No more slacking, no more skipping.
6. You collapse into a show-coma when you get home (instead of doing homework).
Getting wrapped up in a good show sure beats staring at your homework instructions and inevitably taking a “much-needed” mental break. You know, to avoid a mental breakdown. To relieve the stress of deciding between homework and other interests, keep a planner handy. “I keep track of tasks on my Trello board and that helps me get by. I’m a big believer of mindfulness so I always like being in the moment as well,” University of Florida senior Meijia Li said. Keep your studies as the number one priority. Ticking a checkmark next to all your completed assignments means more time to catch up on the latest Bachelor episode.
5. You wait until the last minute to turn in a half-ass-ignment
Say hello to your new best friend this semester, 11:59 PM. While you preoccupied time in that “much-needed” mental break — we all know you fell down a YouTube hole — you forgot about that very important due date. Switching between browser tabs becomes an Olympic sport. You see 10 minutes left on the clock, you pass to tab 10, then back to tab 3. Your word document blocks the view from the YouTube tab playing in the background. You head back to the home tab, saving your word document in the process. 2 minutes left on the clock and BOOM. Assignment complete. You shoot, you score. You figure that whatever you turned in couldn’t possibly be worse than a zero. When reflecting on the stressful part of being a senior, remember, “Nothing is the end. I used to think of a bad grade or a bad job interview as the end of the world, but nothing is as bad as it seems. By now, I’m left with mostly great memories and have forgotten about the small stressful things,” Li said. Nothing quite beats the relief of hitting X on every single tab after you finish an assignment.
4. You sleep, eat and breathe graduation
As a senior, you probably think about graduation one year in advance. Now, when people ask how school is going your first sentence consists of, “I’m graduating soon.” The term “graduation” never comprises your vocabulary as much as it does in your final year. You jump at every opportunity to plan for and talk about it. “When I do have a tougher day, I look up a countdown to graduation to stay motivated and it reminds me that I just need to push through a couple more months,” Valdivia said. Our motivation resides in our desire to walk across that stage, receive our diplomas and throw our caps in the air. By the way, did I tell you I’m graduating this semester?
3. You feel anxious about the future
Whether you feel anxious with excitement or anxious with fear, every graduating senior recognizes their limited time left in school. “This semester I’ve mostly been feeling impatient and anxious. There’s a part of me that is scared that something might go wrong and I won’t be able to graduate,” Valdivia said. Don’t let your fears seep into your special year. When you feel anxious or unsettled, visit an academic advisor to discuss every step leading up to graduation. Advisors keep you updated on deadlines, such as graduation applications, and your progress during the semester. Career counselors exist to help you build a resume, ace interviews and find employment after college. Don’t let senioritis get you down, you got this!
2. You use Quizlet religiously
Thank God for Quizlet, am I right? Logging onto your school site, you begin to notice upcoming module quizzes and exams for every class. Textbook information jumbles up in your brain while your energy level sinks to a 2. You feel hopeless until lo and behold, a quick Google search delivers a Quizlet for your test. You remind yourself of your senior life motto: Work smarter, not harder. You can’t deny the overwhelming euphoria of discovering all the answers you need online. So, maybe you shamelessly use Quizlet for the rest of the semester. You may not need it, but you feel confident when you confirm your answers. Keep in mind that Quizlet may not always be right, so trust your instincts. As for the students before us who typed out all those flashcards, we sincerely thank you.
1. You feel completely done
I know the emotion of feeling completely depleted very well. Imagine it like sinking into a chair, then melting onto the floor. “Done” encompasses a range of sentiments, from exhaustion to eagerness. “I am feeling stressed and excited. I’m taking a lot of credits this final semester so that is stressful. But afterward, I’m going to work in New York! It’s always nice to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Li said. Right now, your tunnel seems foggy due to all these senioritis symptoms. How do I save my sanity? Find something to keep you motivated until graduation, like a vacation trip or seeing your family. When you keep your eye on the prize, that pesky clock ends up ticking faster. Graduation will be here before you know it.