Slackers’ syndrome strikes ‘super seniors’

Just like the endless drama of high school, the plague of senioritis doesn’t disappear. Instead, it takes an approximately four-year hiatus until we are a new kind of senior.

But the title of “super senior” is misleading, unless “super” is meant to describe beer-guzzling slackers.

The super senior exhibits a diet of beer and ramen noodles, along with an effortless delivery of clever tardy excuses. This person has battled for computers in the TECH Center, found the most private places on Main Campus to relax and has conquered OWLnet to create a Friday-free schedule.

Yet, those graduating this January may not have it all together in the manner their wise demeanors exude. A super senior – immune to 12-page papers, Power Point presentations and 26-ounce cups of coffee – has a very good chance of falling ill to senioritis.

“I feel really unmotivated now that I’m nearing the end. I can’t even think about my senior-comp exams without getting stressed out,” Lindsay Mack, a fifth-year senior business major, said. “Probably because I have so much work for each of my classes.”

In a self-described “tongue-in-cheek” evaluation, the National Council for Social Studies Psychology Community identifies someone suffering from senioritis as “being apathetic towards scholastic endeavors.”

The NCSS report states people who used to find school interesting and thought-provoking may lose interest and in turn decrease their involvement in activities they once found worthwhile or necessary.

According to these main indicators of senioritis, some students in their final weeks find they’re too familiar with the described academic detachment.

“I have to put in so much effort, but I don’t really feel motivated to do it. The hardest part about having an assignment is really just starting it,” said Ed Woltemate, a fifth-year senior marketing major. “I often catch myself looking at fantasy football stuff.”

“After graduation, I have some things on my plate,” Woltemate added. “But, really, I just can’t wait to get the bats outta here. Then I will figure it out.”

As many acknowledge a sluggish approach to schoolwork, others increase their social lives as an outlet, enjoying a “Thirsty Thursday” here and there and warranting their decisions to neglect work with a lackadaisical, “I’ll just do it tomorrow,” or “I just don’t care right now.”

These mosey-along actions leave an impression and cause students to further become careless and more distracted than usual.

But it is important to note that senioritis also includes changes in sleep patterns, increased procrastination, participation in hedonistic activities and the inability to focus.

The constant reminder of the slow economy and shortage of jobs is also a source of stress.

“I’m still not sure what I want to do when I graduate,” said Mack, who is currently employed as a banquet server, a job she said she’ll keep until “something better comes along.”

Some assume their last semester will be a breeze – dubbed “The Senior Slide” – but others discover their last semester breeze to be more like a hurricane.

Students can avoid being struck by senioritis by making changes in advance, as suggested in an Education.com article, titled “Tips for Avoiding Senioritis.” Yet, when the senioritis bug gets buzzing, doing much of anything will soon be an unpleasant task altogether.

There is fortunately a cure for the ailment. The article recommends getting on top of schoolwork for the small remainder of the semester, which means going to class and turning off the television to complete an assignment before the day its due.

Take some time to enjoy Thanksgiving break, but also think about using free time to catch up where you might be lagging. But above all, it is important for last-semester seniors to acknowledge how far they’ve come.

With that in mind, one significant easier-said-than-done note of advice sums it up: Stop being a snail, suck it up and give it your all for the last straightaway of the final semester.

Maria Santilli can be reached at maria.santilli@temple.edu.

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