Friday, February 5, 2016

The Truth about Senioritis...

Senioritis is when you wake up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat because of a nightmare about adult life.

Senioritis is the feeling where you have mountains of responsibilities but only the energy to lay and wallow while binging on Netflix.

Senioritis is the exhaustion you feel after waking up at 6 a.m. for work and staying up until midnight for homework.

Senioritis is the excitement you have about growing up and working towards your dream career and life.

As I hope you already know, Senioritis isn’t an actual disease (I even looked it up on WebMD), but it’s definitely a legitimate feeling students experience when they’re approaching graduation.  When I was an undergraduate student watching seniors try to live with this overwhelming disease, I always thought, “Geez, people, calm down.  You’re getting out of here!  Quit being lazy.”

If you’re thinking that right now… Stop!  Because when senioritis gets passed on to you, you’ll be eating your words.

When the semester started in August, I started experiencing phases of laziness, increased emotions (lots of crying), and multiple mental breakdowns.  I kept thinking, “Get your shit together, Elizabeth!  You’ve got graduate schools to apply for, jobs to be considering, and coursework to be finishing.  You don’t have time for this.”

I couldn’t understand how after three years of college, I seemed to have completely forgotten how to do college.  How can I be expected to do adulting if I can’t even get through ‘studenting’?!  When it looks like I’ll have two hours of free time, I’ll lay in my bed for fifteen minutes until the stress of homework finally gets me on my feet.  I’m even getting stressed about my ‘to read’ book list!  Who gets stressed about reading?!

I know I’m not the only one, because I’ve had friends reach out to me when they’re stressing out… which then causes me to stress out more.  My roommate and I seem to be on some kind of rotation.  A few weeks ago she was feeling the pressure of graduation and then this week was my turn. 

Where is this disease stemming from?  How is it capable of turning calm and collected students into emotionally unstable seniors?

Have you ever heard of the phrase: “The only thing standing in your way is yourself”?

We’re doing it unintentionally, but we're doing it to ourselves nonetheless.  Some of us are in denial over the entire process.  Nothing sounds better than turning back the clock and going back to freshman year where we thought the cafeteria food sucked and summer vacation was actually a vacation.

We’re scared to fail.  What if we get to that once-in-a-lifetime job and end up hating it?  What if we never get into our dream graduate school and have to live with our parents while we try to figure out what to do next?  We create these scenarios in our head where when a door closes on us, we immediately picture everyone we love turning their backs on us in shame.  It’s simply unrealistic.

Senioritis can actually come from a positive emotion too: excitement.  Whether it has taken us three, four, five, or ten years to finish our degree; we’ve accomplished something truly amazing.  Whether you know what you’re doing after graduation or not; there’s an underlying excitement over completing something we spent so long working for. 

I have no idea what I’ll be doing after graduation.  If graduate school doesn’t come through, I’m back to square one in job searching.  But guess what? I’m still extremely excited to see where my journey will take me.

And that’s the overwhelming thing: we have unlimited paths to choose from.

So yea, I have senioritis.

I’m not lazy, overemotional, and dramatic.

I’m excited for the journey, sad for the end of my undergraduate career, and scared to fail the people who have put so much time into me.

Seniors; be there for each other. Validate the emotions you're feeling while respecting that a lot of the people around you are experiencing the same thing.

Love one another. Respect one another.

We'll get there.

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