Ah, the smell of success! That is, if you make it through the next three months with acceptable grades, a completed senior project (or whatever your program requires), approval from both your major and minor advisers, an approval from your departmental head, and all of the required credits checked off the list on the road to graduation.

No problem, right?

“But I’ve been doing this for so long! I just want to be done now!” Yeah, there are plenty of students feeling that senioritis (defined by Merriam-Webster Online as an “ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences and lower grades”) bug right about now. Maybe some of you have reached the status of “super-senior” and have been feeling it for a few years.

Being a senior is one of the most stressful times of a college student’s career. It’s that last push to get you ready for what awaits after graduation. This means heavier workloads, real-world-applicable projects, internships, theoretical discourse and so much more. However, students have been preparing to be seniors for at least two years, so the work shouldn’t be too surprising.

And yet, it seems that, as Americans, we always feel that we’re done before we really are.

But why do we get senioritis? Is it because we’ve worked so long to get to the point of senior? Are we just ready to move on to the next part of our lives? Are we so entitled that we feel we don’t have to take that last step to earn a degree?

Maybe.

Then again, maybe we’re just tired of being told what to do. Maybe we don’t want to be told how to think anymore. Maybe we even are just tired of being graded for all of our work.

And then the answer to why you’re just done with it all hits you like a rotten tomato in the horrific comedy that is your life: This is going to happen in one form or another for the next 40-50 years.

That’s right, this is the last chance to truly not care about where life will take you. The consequences of a bad grade are so miniscule compared to the consequences of an unfinished project in the real world. College is like if the real world, but with training wheels and lots of thick, fluffy pillows to fall on in case those fail.

This is not to say that life after college will be horrible (although it can be intimidating to think about sometimes). No. Life after graduation is fantastic (probably), but it’s a whole new game to learn, a whole new strategy to create. It’s scary and exciting all at once.

Maybe in a few weeks, after some of this snow is gone and when the sun is breathing life back into campus, seniors will feel more motivated and confident about graduation. Until then, enjoy the last few aspects of college life, especially the training wheels.

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