BY LAUREN RAMSEYER
There is a plague that is ravaging the ranks of students here at Franciscan University. It is not the quickly-spreading colds, the bronchitis that seems to be lurking in every corner, nor the “Steubie Plague” from the last academic year.
Some know it as laziness, exhaustion, seasonal depression … but it is most commonly referred to as senioritis.
It is a noun defined as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance”; the Urban Dictionary goes even a step further to detail it as a “crippling disease.” In actuality, it refers to not wanting to complete homework, drag oneself to classes, dress in anything other than sweatpants and a hoodie or even step foot out of bed in the morning.
No matter how much you love your school and love learning, there seems to be a point of apathy nearly all students reach once they have spent so many years in one institution or another.
It feels like a reversion back to toddlerhood when all you care about is sleeping and eating, except you don’t have your mommy here to schedule your naptimes and play dates.
But enough with the description of senioritis, because I believe, regardless of whether you are a senior or not, you are probably struggling with some aspect of the devastating disease and are quite familiar with its different forms.
Here are six helpful tips to ease the pain as the cold and darker days are closing in:
- Exercise your spiritual muscles: Make sure to keep your weekly Mass schedule, prayer life and (if applicable) household commitments. The substance of your daily life tends to follow the state of your spiritual life, so don’t let your school work completely overtake you to the point where you are lacking Jesus time.
- Don’t forget to eat and sleep: While this may seem obvious, as college students, we all know how quickly sleep and meal times can be ignored for more “pressing” things on our to-do list. Just because your parents aren’t here to put food in front of your face does not mean you are allowed to skip meals on a normal basis.
- Work out: Even if you are not athletic, like myself, you can go for a walk, take an exercise class at the Finnegan Fieldhouse (my roommate’s beginner ballet class, for example), or have impromptu dance parties with your friends or random people on wing that you still haven’t met yet (if you need inspiration, watch the Disciples’ NSYNC talent show performance on YouTube).
- Keep yourself organized: Make sure to stay on top of your planner, even if you have to write and schedule every hour of your day. Also, make an excessive amount of checklists throughout the week so you can feel pleased with yourself by crossing off each item on your list.
- Take a breather and take a nap: I have made a habit of scheduling myself “sanity naps” throughout the week to ensure that I get some time away from school work, people and just over-thinking life in general. Even if you are not capable of taking a nap during the day, make sure to take some time for yourself to be by yourself in order to avoid getting burned out on human interaction before the end of your last year.
- Have something to look forward to each week: It is your last year. Have some fun for goodness sake! Whether you enjoy going out on the town, having movie nights, going out for a drink, going shopping, meeting someone for a dinner date, returning home for a visit, traveling somewhere and having an adventure or all of the above, make sure to take the time out of your busy schedule to create some memories that will last longer than the grade you got on your last pop quiz.
While earning your diploma and getting an education is very important, so are the people that you interact with every day. Alongside of staying on top of your schoolwork and combating senioritis, take the time to truly “be.” You won’t regret it. The only true cure for senioritis is graduation day, but be sure not to wish away these days too quickly.