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Senioritis sneaks into routines

Senior Alicia Lindsey finds herself napping more than usual at work. This is out of the ordinary for her, she says. The temptation to skip classes increases with each day. Once again, this is not like her. Lindsey blames senioritis as the culprit. Graduation is the only solution, she says.

Senioritis is a condition that affects high school and college seniors, primarily during their final semester of school. Characteristics of senioritis include laziness, an excessive wearing of track pants and sweatshirts, a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude, according to

While not all seniors are experiencing it, many seniors like Lauren Shindollar believe they are succumbing to senioritis.

“I’m finding it really hard to pay attention, especially since I know there is only a month left,” Shindollar said.

She is not alone. Senior Jessica Lupi also says she is a victim of senioritis.

“I skip classes now more than I ever have before, and I know it’s because I’m so close to graduating,” Lupi said. “Since I’ve been here so long, I’m just ready to graduate and move on.”

Psychology department Chair Dale Klopfer said students have these feelings for various reasons.

“The goal until now has been to graduate, but since that goal has been nearly accomplished, students may feel more carefree about their time here,” Klopfer said.

Klopfer compared senioritis to a psychological experiment conducted on animals. In the study, the lab rats responded to a new stimulus that was overshadowed by the original stimulus, Klopfer said. The rats’ primary focus shifted to the most recent stimulus that can be likened to seniors focusing on the immediate future, he said.

Another reason Klopfer believes seniors experience senioritis is their lack of interest in some classes.

Lindsey said she is enrolled in a class not pertaining to her major, which is making it easy for her to feel distracted.

“I’m just not into it, and my mind wanders off,” Lindsey said.

Senior Ian Nemitz knows exactly what his future entails, yet he is struggling with senioritis like many of his peers.

“For me, senioritis has really set in this semester,” Nemitz said. “I know I’m going to grad school to study physics, but right now I have multiple projects due, and it’s taking a lot of willpower to complete my work.”

Nemitz said he is procrastinating more than he has in the past and creating more excuses to not do anything related to academics.

“I’ve been hanging out with my friends a lot more, and I use this as an excuse to not start my work when I should,” Nemitz said.

But Stefani Hathaway, a counselor at the Counseling Center, advises students to not feel guilty for their indifferent attitudes toward the end of the year.

“Give yourself a break; these feelings are completely normal,” Hathaway said.

Senior Benjamin Tansel said many seniors are going through a shared experience right now.

“I feel like this is something every senior goes through, and if they haven’t, then you haven’t had the full experience of being a senior,” Tansel said.

Tansel also said he feels stressed and regrets letting all of his assignments accumulate to the end of the semester.

Hathaway said if seniors focus and plan accordingly, they can enjoy their final days as an undergraduate.

“Just know you can adapt,” Hathaway said. “If you make time for it, you can still be with friends and have time to study appropriately.”

But senior Monde Leck isn’t so sure.

“Senioritis has not been pleasant for me; I’m confused about what’s coming next,” Leck said. “I feel like I’m jumping off a cliff and don’t know what is at the bottom.”

Hathaway explained many seniors are aware of the new changes post-graduation life may bring them, and this is why they aim to enjoy the last few weeks as a student.

To deal with the last few weeks, Hathaway offers students many suggestions, such as breaking daily routines.

“You can try taking your books and studying on the lawn on the nice days,” Hathaway said. “Or try walking a different route to your classes than you normally would.”

Seniors needing an extra push to get them to graduation are advised to visit the Wellness Center, Counseling Center and senior support groups on campus, Hathaway said.

When seniors feel like they can’t deal with the stress and are feeling unmotivated, Hathaway reminds them to reflect on their time spent at the University.

“Just remember how all of the hard work and dedication will serve in the future, and then it will come to you that the time and effort will be worth it in the end,” Hathaway said.

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