Surviving Second-Semester Senioritis

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Published November 6, 2019
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The Montclarion
Alexis Kitchmire | The Montclarion

When I was in high school, I remember seeing many of the seniors act like they owned the place. Many of them had committed to their number one college of choice within the first few months of school, which in their minds meant that the rest of the year was a joke and they did not need to work hard anymore.

These students were diagnosed with “senioritis,” a disease coined by teachers, which really equates to pure laziness.

When it was finally my turn to experience senior year, I made a promise to myself back in November of 2015; when I got accepted to college, I would not let the idea of “I’m done” infect my mind. Instead, I kept working and made the honor roll all four marking periods and finished out the year with straight A’s.

After high school, I did not think I would ever have to deal with that infectious disease ever again. That recently changed when I reached my last semester of college.

As a second-semester senior, I have sadly self-diagnosed myself with senioritis; however, this is not the same variation that plagues lazy high school students. For me, it’s about the transition from undergrad to the next phase of my life, the fear of the unknown. What makes it even more difficult is going through this evolution while dealing with anxiety and depression.

For many people affected by anxiety and depression, transitions can be very overwhelming, especially when you have multiple important things on your plate, such as completing your degree without falling behind.

People often tell me that the hardest part of college is over since I have completed most of the coursework and other requirements needed to secure my degree, but that was the easy part for me. All that I had to do was complete a checklist on Degree Works.

A checklist is very structured; it has a beginning, a middle and an end, which is very comforting, as there is designated endpoint.

At this point in my transition from college to the real world, my endpoint is very uncertain as I struggle to find the exit path that will work the best for my future.

I always like asking others for their opinions and advice, especially because I am the first child of my generation to graduate college and have never had anyone at home to relate to or empathize with when it comes to these situations. All I have are my parents and their siblings who graduated during a very different time in this country; both socially and financially.

While I appreciate all the help I have received along this difficult journey, I feel like I am being pulled in multiple directions in terms of what to do.

I have three options: go to graduate school, get an internship for the spring or jump straight into the working world.

For some students, the decision of what path to take after they graduate is very clear. If you want to be a teacher, your best choice is to get your master’s degree. If you want to be a journalist, you might want to get started in the field and pay off some of your loans before adding more to your student debt total. This is a decision that I continue to struggle with and has put my entire future in limbo.

Aside from my schoolwork, extracurriculars and other obligations, I have dedicated a portion of my free time to speaking with recruiters about my future; a topic that usually results in me lying in bed in dead silence as I continue to process the reality of the situation.

I’ve had a lot of great discussions with some of my dad’s colleagues and they have given me some excellent advice on what I need to improve on and what I should be looking for as I dive further into this transition.

As the oldest of three, I have gotten used to being the family experiment and having all of my choices closely observed. My parents note things that go wrong to ensure that my siblings do not fall for the same mistakes.

I need to learn to embrace the uncertainty that lurks in front of me and not be afraid of making mistakes along the way. As a rookie in this situation, these mistakes are destined to happen, but it’s just another lesson in this crazy game of life.

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