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There is a cure for senioritis


I never thought I would be infected with senioritis. Try as I might to keep it away, it still came — but not quite as I expected.

Senioritis, the desire to just get high school over with and move on to college, seems to come in three forms, which can be summarized in three “justifications” for the procrastination that accompanies it:

  • “I won’t do my work because I have so much other work to do first.”
  • “... because my actions are too life-changing for me to comprehend.”
  • “... because my actions at this point don’t matter.”
  • The first variety set in for me during the stress of my collegeby: SUBMITTED - ELISE BROWN applications. They were a valid excuse to push homework off for a little while — I still did my homework, but I rushed so I could put my application together.

    Although the short-term work was done, the long-term implications were daunting. That’s when the second variety of senioritis set in. I put off submitting my application, even though it was done. Why? I was, in a way, scared. If Wellesley were to reject me, I didn’t know how I’d handle it. If Wellesley did accept me, which they graciously did, I wasn’t sure how to begin preparing. Everything was about to change and I wasn’t sure how to handle it.

    Of course, I did press “send” after many hours of deep breaths and realizations that my adult life was about to actually begin. An extremely satisfied, beautiful feeling accompanied submitting my application, but senioritis lingered. “I want to go to college now, but I’m so anxious that I just want to stop working.”

    After recognizing the symptoms, I took steps to make it better. Even after being accepted, I still felt overwhelmed and tempted to procrastinate. But I knew I had to do my work anyway, so I figured I might as well work as hard as I could to do my work well.

    That is how I’m safeguarding myself against the third strain of senioritis. I’m vaccinated, protected against the deadliest form of the disease because I’ve been exposed to the first two. Lacking motivation is a terrible thing; I will not put myself in that box. (Besides, Wellesley assured me that my acceptance is “contingent” upon finishing my senior year strong, so it’s not like I can fail all my classes this semester and get away with it.)

    All strains of senioritis seem to come from the same source: being overwhelmed. So, we can rephrase the three sentences:

  • “I won’t do my work because the work I need to do is overwhelming.”
  • “... because the outcome of my work is overwhelming.”
  • “... because my future is set, and adding more responsibilities
  • would overwhelm me.”

    If they have the same source, they must have the same cures. Practically, time management and organization is a great way to combat feeling overwhelmed. Mentally, simply being aware of how I react to having multiple responsibilities, and reminding myself of the positive outcomes of completing them, helped me to kick myself into high gear to make sure everything got done. Even if I don’t want to do it, I do it well to ensure it all pays off in the end.

    I suppose senioritis is inevitable. But like any disease, the sooner you detect it, the sooner it can be cured.

    Elise Brown is a senior at West Linn High School.