Fighting off feelings serious ‘senioritis’

There is a point during the school year when the end feels so near, yet so very far away. It’s a point when the list of days until summer vacation is quite short, but the list of things to do before then is overwhelmingly long.

At this point in the year, students must decide how they will respond. Will they buckle down and stay motivated, or will they let their minds take an early vacation?

For many of my fellow seniors and me, something called “senioritis” has set in. We have a lot on our minds, and focusing on schoolwork is challenging.

In less than a month, I will graduate from college, which is an exciting and frightening thought in itself. However, before then, I have a big senior project to finish, four group projects to find the time to complete, five essays to write and two tests to study for.

Throw in a graduation party to help plan, a mission trip to raise funds for and the stress of figuring out what I’ll do after graduating, and I’m definitely ready to give into senioritis’ tempting nudges.

The good student in me won’t let this side win, though, and I seem to always end up finishing my work, even if it is at the last minute.

Since the pulls of senioritis are so strong, I’ve found that I must have things that keep me motivated to beat it.

This year, coffee has been a necessary piece of motivation for me.

I can still remember the first time I tried a Starbucks Frappuccino when I was a freshman in high school. I thought the coffee in it was way too strong, and I couldn’t even finish the drink. I decided I would stick with non-espresso beverages from then on.

But then I went to college and gave coffee another chance. Gradually, I began to find myself enjoying the flavor and ordering drinks that my freshman-in-high-school-self would have found disgusting.

This year, coffee has gotten me through many late nights of reading, writing and studying. It has provided me with the extra boost of energy I’ve needed to finish projects and papers.

Coffee can give me the energy to work on a project, but I’ve learned that it can’t make the project exciting. That’s up to me.

For my English and communications majors, a senior seminar class is required as a capstone. In these classes, students spend the entire semester working on a big project to present at the end of the semester.

One of the biggest misconceptions about these semester-long projects is that they’re boring. Early on in the year, I realized that, while the project requires many, many hours of work and dedication, there is no rule that I have to pick a boring subject.

In the fall, I completed my English senior project, for which I studied gender roles in the Harry Potter series. Since I loved the subject, I was much more motivated to spend hours researching and reading.

This spring, I’m taking my communications senior seminar. Originally, I chose a topic that was interesting but that I didn’t really care about it. I soon realized that staying motivated to finish the project would be extremely hard.

So I switched my topic to none other than Disney princess movies. Now I look forward to working on my project, which includes coding the characteristics of the princesses and studying how they’ve changed over the years.

So to all the future seniors reading this, there is hope. Senioritis can be tamed. Just drink a lot of coffee, and choose topics you love, even if you get funny looks when you say you get to watch Disney movies as homework.

In addition to her studies, Bailey Kaufman is editor of the Tabor College student publication, The View.