Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ask Isa: How to overcome senioritis in college

I recently received this question from the Ask Isa inbox:

Dear Isa,

I am feeling unmotivated because this is the last semester of my senior year. I don't actually want to go to my classes. I'd rather do all the work online and just go to my exams. How do I get my previous undergrad excitement back or is it gone forever? 

Sincerely, 

I'm afraid I have the beginning symptoms of senioritis

Dear Senioritis,

This feeling is completely understandable. And while you have probably changed a lot since your freshman year, that level of enthusiasm is definitely not gone forever. 

Last weekend, I spent some time at my alma mater as part of an alumni leadership program; walking through campus I realized that those years were some of the happiest of my life - especially my senior year (because I was engaged in a really challenging senior research project on a topic I loved). I love my job and my life now - so much - but still nothing compares to the college atmosphere of pure learning and growth. I would go back in a heartbeat. 

It is normal to go through highs and lows of motivation in college and in life. What I hope I can help you remember is that college is a huge privilege - and when it's over, it's over

So below are a few things you can try in order to combat senioritis and enjoy your last year of college:

1) Journal
Take a moment to journal about what you are feeling. Get it all out there, and you might just find writing it out will help you feel better. Then, journal about your college journey so far. Consider the new friends, the new experiences, and the way you've grown. Think about the person you were before college, and what it has done for you so far.

2) Friends
Go to an event or club meeting on campus and reconnect with old friends or make some new ones (it's never too late). Or consider planning a trip with your best buds. After college there are very few opportunities to be around so many people your own age, all working towards the same goal. Enjoy the time before the "real world" competition for jobs kicks in and have fun with the people around you. 

3) Contribute
This is your last year on your campus and your last change to contribute. Look around your campus community and consider how you can make an impact before you graduate. Apply for a new opportunity or project. Consider travel opportunities. Talk to a professor about your dilemma and see if he or she has any solutions to help you take on a new research project or engage with the campus in a new way. The best way to increase your feeling of engagement is to give. 

I hope this helps! You should be so proud of yourself that you have come to your senior year - it is a milestone that sadly too few students are reaching today. Embrace this unique time in your life and enjoy it for all it's worth. You deserve to. 

Feel free to ask your anonymous college or job-related questions on the new Ask Isa anonymous form on the homepage tab! :) 

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