It’s green outside, the birds are singing and final deadlines are approaching. Seniors, however, have something bigger looming—the future.
With so many distractions, it’s no wonder there is an epidemic. Hearing the laughter of frolicking students in the April sunshine from the second floor of the library is not for the faint-hearted. The student body is out and about, and it is hard to resist joining in. Women are tanning on Stegenga lawn while pretending to study, duct-tape armor and weapons clash in the West medieval battle and intramural softball games are being won and lost. There is just so much to do. Extracurricular activities aside, there is quite enough homework to go around.
While freshmen, sophomores and juniors are out throwing a softball and playing Frisbee on the green, looking forward to summer jobs as camp counselors or grocery clerks, seniors are preparing résumés and preparing to embark into the professional world.
One senior, who wished to remain anonymous, joked that she “briefly considered jumping off a building at one point.” Shauna El, a senior Hospers resident, admits that she is feeling “overwhelmed by the number of life transitions.”
As May approaches, senioritis has certainly set in here at Northwestern. Symptoms include but are not limited to: irrational mood swings, the urge to play outrageous pranks, uncontrollable sobbing, paralyzing fear of the future and inability to focus.
Senior Lindsey Haskins lists her most common distractions as “engagement, employment and the end of homework in sight.”
To view the end of homework on the horizon must be a glorious, if terrifying, sight for Haskins and the rest of the senior class. Although almost all seniors claim senioritis, it is unclear whether this psychological condition produces academic effects.
Professor Winn, of the history department, says that he “always hears students talk about it, but doesn’t typically see a change in the quality of their work.” This is true for pre-med major Ryan Birkland, who, when asked whether or not he was suffering from senioritis, replied: “I can’t afford to. I wish I could say that I had senioritis. But there is just too much to do.”
For those not graduating in May, Spring Fever is the diagnosis. But Senioritis goes beyond wistful daydreams of summer days without homework; it incites the anxiety of change and the excitement of anticipation. The prospect of graduation is exciting and scary and full of possibilities! Seniors, whatever their diagnosis, are collectively focused on enjoying the time they have left at NW.