Mondays with Meg: Senioritis

I’ve come down with something nasty, something terrible. It’s worse than your average cold and almost as miserable as the flu. I’ve got senioritis.

Let me explain. Those who suffer from senioritis are usually high school or college seniors, right at the cusp of making a huge transition in her/his life. A senioritis attack can happen at any moment: in the middle of class, while hanging out with friends on the weekend or even eating lunch. Its victims often look haggard and wear sweatpants to class–on Mondays. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Overwhelming anxiety or worry about the future. “What am I doing with my life? Why in the world did I decide to major in journalism? I can’t find a job! I’m going to live in my parents’ basement for the rest of my life!”
  • Lack of interest in the present. “I don’t have time to hang out with friends! I must figure out a five-year plan NOW!”
  • Too much sleep or too little sleep. Your bed is either your best friend or worst enemy.
  • Massive growths of unwashed laundry appearing on your bedroom floor.
  • Disoriented feeling. Example: You arrived early to class, only to realize that it’s Saturday.
  • Dramatic change in dietary habits. Example: Eating gas station pizza for a week straight or surviving only on Kashi bars
  • Lack of motivation. Also known as “Academic Apathy.”

(***If you’re not picking up on my sarcasm yet, here’s an FYI: senioritis is not a legit medical condition. However, I’m sure many second-semester college seniors can relate.***)

As a college senior, I can safely say that I’ve come down with senioritis. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve overbooked myself this semester with meetings, student organizations, volunteering and work, all on top of my classes! While I’ve tried to stay on top of my to-do list and keep a positive attitude, I caught the bug last Wednesday. Thinking about my future has put my stomach in knots and consumed my thoughts. My classwork has taken a back seat, as well as my physical and mental health. (I definitely wasn’t kidding about eating gas station pizza, either. My digestive system was NOT happy with that decision!)

Last night, I realized I was in trouble. There isn’t a drug that can “cure” senioritis. I was the only one who could save myself from getting any sicker. I took some time to reflect on how I was feeling and decided to put myself into action. I started with cleaning my room and doing laundry, and that little bit was enough to get me feeling motivated again. Now, I’m not fully recovered. I’ve got the senioritis sniffles, for sure. But I’ve come up with a few tips on how to protect yourself from coming down with a full-blown case.

  • Keep your to-do lists short, sweet and attainable. The longer the list is, the more overwhelmed you’ll feel. It’s best to keep your short-term goals within reach.
  • Get a full night’s sleep. Like Maria blogged on Friday, sleep is essential! You need a good 8-hours to be fully functioning. If you can’t fall asleep, try meditating to relax your mind before bed.
  • Do something. Sure, you may have a pile of work looming over you, but whittling away little by little is progress. Even if it’s finally going grocery shopping, you’ll be happy you got up and moving.
  • Keep your worries at bay. My mom has a little trick: she writes out her worries on a slip of paper and puts them in a sealed box. She’s taught me that worrying is a waste of time. It’s better to be proactive than reactive. Like the serenity prayer says: accept the things you cannot change, have the strength to change the things you can, and the wisdom to realize the difference.
  • Take time to reflect. Check in with your body and mind every day. Keep tabs on your mental and physical well-being. And remember: nothing, not even homework, is more important that your health.

How do you tackle senioritis? Have any good techniques for keeping the worries away? Share it with me below!


-Meg Rindfleisch
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm
Learn more about Meg here.

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