With the end of the semester starting to rise on the horizon for many students, some are thinking about summer jobs or setting schedules for the fall. Every spring a class faces not only graduation, but an imposing foe which makes it more and more difficult for them to concentrate on school: senioritis.
As a senior in his last semester of undergrad, Ethan De Groot knows a thing or two about the way senioritis can affect classroom performance.
“I see senioritis as an intense struggle to focus on, complete or even think about any classwork,” De Groot said. “For me, it usually involves waiting until the last possible minute, until I have no other choice, and then turning in some highly questionable work.”
For De Groot, senioritis encroaches on his desire to work hard in his classes, but as far as activities and social life, it does not seem to cause him any trouble. In fact, sometimes it does just the opposite.
“The less that I want to do classwork, the more appealing any other option sounds,” De Groot said. “The struggle to avoid doing homework really motivates me to hang out with friends, work out or literally do anything else.”
Professor of sociology Scott Monsma knows and recognizes the difficulties seniors face in finishing strong with their college career, and he empathizes with their position. However, this does not mean he is going to cut them any slack in the gradebook.
“Standards are standards,” Monsma said. “I get it, but students still have to do their work. I’m not condemning the student, but still have to hold them accountable.”
Monsma works with students every year who experience varying levels of senioritis and knows the process all too well.
“You see the finish line, and its really tempting to slow down,” Monsma said. “Students deal with the stress of what is next, and I understand. When you’ve been doing school for 15 to 18 years its hard to keep it up when you’re close to the end.”
Every year on campus is different, and senioritis might not be a complete adjustment from hard work to laziness, but perhaps just a redirection of focus based on another big life transition.
“Your first year, you just want to make it,” Monsma said. “The second and third year is about getting into a rhythm, and senior year there are big questions of what to do, where to move, how to pay student loans and how to avoid ending up in your parents’ basement. These are real, legitimate stresses for a lot people.”
Monsma encourages NW seniors to finish strong by taking advantage of these last few months and making sure to get the most out of the experience.
“Savor the time that you have in the last few weeks,” Monsma said. “Ask a professor or that classmate you want to know better to go out and get coffee. Just live in the moments while you have them.”
While many college seniors are having difficulties staying motivated to turn in papers and projects in time, remembering to live out every day to its fullest will help those in their last semester to make the most of all this campus has to offer.