Senioritis: What is the Source?

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Senioritis is an affliction that affects most college students when they are nearing the end of their collegiate careers. I, like a lot of my colleagues, am graduating in December, making this my final semester at USF. This knowledge can do one of two things. In the first scenario, the final semester will make you want to work harder so that when you graduate, you feel a sense of accomplishment in knowing that you worked hard all the way to the end. In the other scenario, the last semester means all you need to do is pass your classes to reach the 128 required credits, why put in that extra effort? You have been working hard for the past three years, why not slack off a bit and enjoy the last days as a student before entering the real world?

It is not laziness or apathy, but knowing the end is just around the corner sometimes give seniors this sense of indifference towards their school work. Some professors and overachieving students would find this kind of attitude blasphemous, but this kind of behavior is natural after being in school for over 16 years and basically having the same routine. For me, the feeling is that I have three months left before my life begins. My final classes are like paying my final dues to enter what my life will be, and most of us want our lives to begin as soon as possible.

My major is listed as politics and my minor is listed as legal studies, but I have no intention of trying to be the first female president of the United States, nor do I have the intention of going to law school. When I entered my freshman year at USF, law school was on my mind and getting involved with politics was a passion of mine, but because of my liberal arts education here I learned about other areas of education and tapped into something I was truly passionate about, which was journalism. More specifically, sports journalism. Through learning about the press in my law classes and politics classes, I found that this was the area I wanted to get involved in. I lost interest in my political endeavors, and, frankly, law school is too much work for a job that takes over your life. Finishing college as quickly as possible to get started on a career in journalism was the first thing on my mind. Changing my major might have tacked on another semester to my four year sentence. I have cut down my time in school to three and half years by choosing to graduate early. Finding a job in the field I want is what is on my mind, not these classes that do not interest me anymore. In all honesty, senioritis started taking a hold of me during my junior year when I started losing interest in my classes. From that point on I was simply going through the motions of getting up, going to class, doing homework, and repeat. Knowing that this will finally be coming to an end gives me a sense of relief and makes my drive to go through the motions slower.

Unlike me, most seniors will pursue a job in their major’s field, but what we have in common is that we are sick of learning about what interests us and we are anxious to apply our knowledge in the real world in a real job that can give us fulfillment. Even though paying bills, taxes, and going to a job from 9-5 seems scary, I see it as finally being considered a member of society to be taken seriously with this fancy degree and being treated as more than just a college student. Finding a life outside the walls of USF is something exciting, and not having to go to uninteresting classes everyday is also a plus. Slacking a bit and being less motivated should be somewhat expected from seniors, but the reasons behind senioritis may not be as black and white as sheer laziness.

1 COMMENT

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