Senioritis

It’s a few weeks into my senior year and senioritis has already set in, which bodes well. It has hit in a lot of different ways, some educational and others personal. With each passing day, I feel it a little bit more. My anxiety has grown stronger as the senioritis sets in, and I’m working to find ways to calm myself down. It’s a new stage of life which always brings along challenges that I have to face. As my therapist has reminded me and I try and remind myself, I’ve gotten through life so far, so there’s no reason to doubt I’ll get through this time as well.

I always heard people talk about senioritis in my classes, but didn’t fully understand what they were talking about or thought they were exaggerating. Now being a senior myself, I see that they were not. In terms of strictly education effects, I feel far less motivated to do my work than I have in the past. From day one, it has been a struggle to make myself sit down and focus on getting an assignment done. At this point in my school career, I have written more papers and done more presentations than I can count. I feel burnt out. This is a weird feeling for me because I have always been a student who tries hard and been a straight-A student. The ambivalence that I have toward school is a new feeling. I still want an A, but I feel no desire to do the work that would get me there. My roommates and friends are feeling the same way and therefore there is not a lot of motivation happening. It’s more just complaining. I’m trying to switch my mindset to being more positive, but it’s difficult. I want to enjoy my last year of college, even my classes. I don’t want to look back and regret not doing my best work just because I was tired. It’s a daily struggle and one that I hope to overcome in the days to some.

My senior year has also given me senioritis personally. This is my last year of college before I enter the real world. Just writing that sentence stresses me out a little bit. Even though it is only first semester, I can still see the finish line up ahead and it isn’t far off. I got an email about applying for graduation the other day. That’s insane. College has gone by so quickly and I don’t think this year will be any different. That scares me a little because it means I have to think about my future. I’m taking a Business and Professional Communication course this semester (sounds super interesting right?) and it is all about applying for jobs and getting ready for interviews and finding a career. It makes everything seem even closer. I am not a person who does well with uncertainty. Most of my anxiety comes from dealing with the unknown and not having stability. Those are the two biggest things you struggle with as a senior. I have no idea what job I’m going to have. Plans I thought were semi-stable with friends have started to shift and suddenly the ground beneath my feet is starting to move. I’m trying to picture what my life will look like, and I can’t and that doesn’t feel great. I’m really working with my therapist to talk through all of this and remind myself of the things that I can see and feel in the moment. I live in the future and play scenarios over and over in my head until I can’t see what’s happening right in front of me.

That’s the other part of senioritis. Trying not to miss out on moments. There’s a lot going on. All of my friends have school and jobs and internships. But I don’t want to look back on my last year of college and only see those things. I want to see concerts and eating ice cream and driving with the windows down. Trying to balance everything is difficult. Trying not to live in the future what-ifs and actually experience what’s happening now is difficult. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Often senioritis, and in turn, my anxiety feels like a looming presence unable to be shaken. As cliche as it sounds, it can feel like a rain cloud is following me around. With each new assignment or each new thought about the future, I feel myself deflating. But this isn’t forever. Also, in the now it is important to focus on all of the fun things about senior year. About all the memories I get to make. About that last assignment being written. As each day passes, I want to try and look at the bright side instead of worrying about all the stuff that hasn’t even happened. Senioritis is a frame of mind, I just have to climb my way out of it.

Hopefully, some of y’all can relate to these feelings whether you are in your senior year or you are just worried about the future. We’re in this together and we will overcome it. That’s the goal.

Rachel (:

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