The disease plaguing our seniors

by Meg Cook

Opinion Contributor

There is a phenomenal disease in the collegiate sphere that most if not all graduating seniors can contract over the next six months. The Senior Plague, as it has been called, is a cannonball of a mental state that can throw graduating seniors for a loop at any time in the months prior to walking across the stage. For some, the only thing between them and their diploma is a week’s worth of final exams. For others, it’s another semester following the Yellow Brick Road to the graduation stage. Those only immune by the plague are those who have faced their undergraduate time with an antibody of indifference. As a note for all though, please be aware of the effects of this near- unavoidable plague. Symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

Senioritis. The lack of motivation in proximity to your graduation date is fairly normal, but can have serious side effects on your GPA. Please do not take Senioritis lightly and treat with great willpower and a pep talk from a Kid President. Go and be awesome.

Detachment. Once your days are numbered, it is natural for some to invest less and less in the institution, but admire it for the experience it has gifted to each potential graduate. The One Foot Out the Door phenomenon is another side effect, but don’t let the split of an approaching career and “when it was just your freshman year” keep you from enjoying the community and experience of the present.

Bouts of SMH. There are many times as seniors move through the semester that the exposure to the antics, worries, and drama of younger students can cause the involuntary shaking of the head. As seniors, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of the collegiate environment. As a result of the dim light at the end of our tunnel of undergraduate study, we have found perspective. Yes Johnny, you can write a five page paper in two hours. Just do it. Suzie, talk to your professor. He may or may not hint toward exam questions in his office hours and give you that  extension (professors are human too). Acknowledgment of the fact that every senior has also been in these types of situations will allow normal behavior to resume and the head shaking to cease.

Senior Moments.“I am graduating.” This symptom in particular is easy to diagnose, but the symptom itself varies for all. Depending on who you are, the senior moment is a gradual acceptance of your withdrawal from the undergraduate community or it’s a brick of an epiphany hitting you at the most unfortunate moment. The following effects are also common: intense need for selfies and group pictures, bouts of waterworks, feelings of isolation or being stuck, denial,  illusions of losses in friendship and good times, etc.  The concept of change in general leaves individuals in the face of ending phases of life a myriad of scared, excited, and anxious. Recommended treatment is perspective and belief that with every end comes the opportunity for beginning.

You can live with the Senior Plague. Embrace the symptoms, treat with care, and enjoy the ride while you can. Those Zumba classes aren’t always going to be free and your sweatpants won’t always be up to dress code. Live the college life while you are still in it.

 

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