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Dear Brad: Is ‘senioritis’ a widespread epidemic?

Dear Brad,

I have always been a good student. I study hard for exams and turn in my assignments on time. I even attend Friday classes. But as I approach the end of my college career, these tasks are becoming increasingly difficult. I am finding more excuses to sleep in, skip class and procrastinate. All in all, I do not have the same level of motivation for schoolwork as I once did.

As stated before, this has never been my tendency. Brad, can you explain to me what is causing these changes and give me some advice on how I can resolve them?

-Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student:

You are likely suffering from what is known in medical circles as “senioritis.” Do not be alarmed: it is a condition that affects many high school and college students.

Symptoms, as you stated, include procrastination, laziness and a general disregard for schoolwork. Students who used to review a research paper with a fine-toothed comb will suddenly finish it a half-hour before it is due, quickly spell-check the paper and say, “Good ‘nuff.”

Hours of intense studying are replaced with hours of watching YouTube clips with notes on your lap.

Senioritis often strikes toward the end of a student’s academic career. However, when detected early, it has also been seen in freshmen and sophomores. Students afflicted at such a young age often change their majors to binge drinking or weed smoking, skills they fine-tune throughout much of their adult lives.

Overcoming the disease is never easy, but there are ways to minimize its effects. For example, it can be difficult to force yourself to be productive once again. Therefore, I suggest you try bringing down the productivity of the people around you. Bringing others down to your level can actually make yourself look better. This strategy might not get you through life, but it should at least get you through the remainder of college.

Another tool for combating senioritis is to diminish its effects before they have a chance to do real damage. Try to have your toughest classes out of the way before entering your final quarter. The final 10 weeks is not the time to be stuck taking Atom-Splitting 710. One should load up the schedule with the likes of Wine Tasting, Barrel Rolling and Hopscotch. Classes such as these do not punish laziness, but can still be intellectually challenging, especially if attended while hungover.

Finally, it is important not to let senioritis destroy your self-esteem. There might be times when it feels like you are the lousiest student at the university, but odds are there is at least one person who is worse. Take a deep breath and scan campus for someone who you think might be a worse student than you. Finding such a student should make you feel better about your condition. For your own well-being, do not inform this individual of the distinction you have just awarded him or her.

In many ways, senioritis can make for an enjoyable final year of college. But amid all the fun, it is important that you buckle down at least enough to get a passing grade. Otherwise, your condition may get exceedingly worse and progress into the next stage: fifth-year senioritis.


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