Tyler Joswick / Asst. photo editor
Before they graduate in 27 days, many seniors are re-evaluating their priorities. Rather than focusing on classes and grades, some are instead focusing on making the most of the little time they have left as students.
“I think everyone is kind of slacking off. … At this point you kind of realize you can only have your college lifestyle for four more weeks, and then you have to grow up,” said Chelsea Brown, a fourth-year in political science. “You have to savor every minute of it.”
The impending life change might also bring some seniors unease as their focus shifts to enjoying the remainder of college.
“When you are that close to graduating your focus shifts more to your future. You may even have some anxiety with that but there certainly is a shift in focus,” said Charles Emery, a professor of psychology. “In some ways it may be a bit harder to focus on what you are doing in a particular class during that quarter when you are about to graduate.”
The lack of motivation for many seniors may be because they have already accepted job offers or will be attending graduate school.
The OSU Arts and Sciences Career Services Office exit survey of Spring 2010 graduates showed 54 percent were continuing in a graduate or professional program and 18 percent had secured employment.
“I think, traditionally, Arts and Sciences students are more inclined to go to graduate or professional school,” said office director Stephanie Ford.
Ford’s inclination might be correct. Sixty-two percent of 2010 engineering graduates had firm post-graduation plans, said Rosemary Hill, director of engineering career services. The distinction between professional or graduate school and employment was not made.
Brown has already accepted a position with AmeriCorps and has seen her schoolwork decline as a result.
“(I work) the least amount of hours as possible to get the grades I need,” she said. “I don’t go to classes that don’t require attendance if I don’t have a test.”
Given the number of students with future plans, some professors understand why seniors’ motivation begins to wane.
“By the time you get to the last quarter, you have already gotten what you are going to get in terms of your GPA, and you may have gotten into grad school, and I think at that point, it could be liberating,” Emery said.
Though professors might understand a diminished level effort, some students don’t have the luxury of taking it easy in their last quarter.
“I wish I could (slack off). I guess I am more fueled by the fear of not graduating (and) having a demanding schedule for my last quarter,” said Sarah Patterson, a fourth-year in business administration. “I’ve had to keep up pretty good just to make sure I graduate.”
Patterson has not yet found a job and plans to travel the United States for four months after graduation, she said.
With or without graduate school admittance or an accepted job, time is running out for seniors at OSU. That, more than anything, can contribute to students’ attitudes.
Many seniors are switching their focus away from their studies. Some might be inclined to concentrate on their future while others might be fixating on their limited time as students.
“I just do less work,” said Colin Kalvas, a fourth-year in business administration and finance. “Instead of putting in those extra hours to make sure you really know everything, I just assume I can skate by and just do alright.”
Brown has simply adopted a new mantra.
“My motto is more college, less school,” she said. “I’m going to enjoy my last couple weeks of college and just get through school.”