September 30, 2020

BY ROB MENDONSA

As I return from a week-long vacation in sunny Florida, I’m left wondering if I’m the only one struggling to finish the year out with the same passion that I started with way back in September.
This being the last semester of my program, you would think that should be all the incentive I need to really dig down and complete my year, but here I am in my last seven weeks and I can’t seem to focus for some reason. The end of Reading Week also means that final stretch for many graduates-to-be, and the last semester can be one of the most challenging.
There’s even an official name for this malaise that strikes students at this time of year, “senioritis,” which defines a student who is struggling in his or her final semester of a multiple year program. When senioritis kicks in and studying becomes a low priority, you could be putting your graduation in jeopardy. Low motivation, skipping classes and simply giving up too easily on projects and assignments are a few warning signs of senioritis.
Some of the hints given online for us to stay motivated are to stay focused, eat well and to get a planner. Get a planner, really? These are the same things that are told to us at the orientation for our program, I need something better than a good meal and a calendar to reignite the fire that seems to be barely smouldering right now.
Journalism students also all seem to suffer from another “disorder,” called procrastination, which just adds to the effects of senioritis. Instead of working on my assignments when we were made aware of them in the syllabus back in January, I’ve left everything until the last minute and now find myself buried under a mountain of paper that would challenge some of the greatest climbers of Mount Everest.
A lot of students have the mindset that the semester is over during break and don’t realize that they still have to finish finals and projects upon returning to school. It is always difficult to come back after a week off, but as long as you keep reminding yourself that the finish line is within grasp you’ll be fine.
So here I sit staring at the blinking cursor, which has become the bane of my existence, wondering how I will ever get through the next seven weeks with my sanity and self-respect intact. And in my mind the words “just seven more weeks,” keep replaying in my mind. Just seven more weeks.