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Senioritis: Part 1

January 31st, 2013

Subject: Male, Age: 21

Condition: Senioritis

Symptoms: Instability, immaturity, apathy, fatigue, inactivity, distractability, ineconomism, revelry, intoxication, sociability

Status: Chronic, Malignant

I’ve spent 16 years in the American education system. This time has brought me triumphs and failures, good times and bad, friends and enemies; it has improved me and worsened me.

The standard time for a person to be in school is coming to a close for me and my comrades, and, like four years ago, we once again fit into the senior scholastic category. There are a lot of great and exciting things going on for us during this time, from job searches and offers to relocating educational pursuits in more specific paths. Despite these standard experiences, there is one thing that unifies 80 percent (in my estimations) of all seniors around the country: a condition called senioritis.

I have been stricken with this disease since junior year of high school. During these five years (some worse than others), I’ve come to realize a great deal about this affliction from observations of myself and others. I consider myself as much of an expert as one can be on the subject, though I don’t care much about it and, until just now, I figured my knowledge and intelligence will be assumed to be immense, rendering me irresponsible for proving this to anyone. Alas, the world at large continues to be ignorant or perhaps inconsiderate of this infirmity just as mental illness was once considered to be brought on by demonic possession. To debunk this falsity I’ve decided to attempt to justify this state of consciousness so I feel more comfortable with my constant flare-ups.

Using one’s education of Latin roots, the word senioritis can be broken down and translated to mean “inflammation of seniors.” Having been around a particular institution for four years, the senior believes itself to be at the top of the food chain in his or her biome. This is never the case. The false sense of superiority can often cause those infected to lead an existence disrespectful of everything from deadlines to federal laws. The senior realizes that he or she has survived the rigors of college up to this point and daily encounters don’t challenge one’s existence anymore so excitement is sought out. Complacency breeds craziness.

Throughout one’s time in college, the academic challenges will be met for the most part. If they are not, one most likely will not reach senior year. The first few semesters of new scholasticism might be exciting. It’s a new environment, a diverse learning experience. The luster of the update from high school usually will become boring, however. It is then realized that academia composes such a small part of existence and is most likely not enough to sustain enthusiasm day after day (for those whom this is not the case, they continuously find excitement in their chosen area of study is right for them. These people are the 20 percent that stay focused and driven all four years and beyond). Later comes the realization that the place of academia in life is roughly equivalent to the place of professionalism later in life.

The sense of superiority discussed above is not always negative. For some, feeling older might compel a person to spread acquired wisdom and care for the younger nuggets with whom they are associated. A weight of responsibility for the improvement of the college experience for those in all stages of their journey might be felt. In my experience, this duty completes the anchoring of the senioritis parasite in the host.

The senior might begin to toss the imposition of frugality out the window. Hell, after being at least $60,000 in debt, what difference will this $10 craft six pack make? The homesick feeling might be remembered, so throwing down $20 for a pizza party at this off-campus house might make these freshmen feel better. Hopefully they’ll remember this and do the same for upcoming generations.

The foundation established by senioritis is hopefully one of relaxation and empathy. The  small place of academics and later professionalism brings one to realize that the people and experiences around them matter most and bring refreshing happiness to each day. Senioritis might be a sign of enlightened determination, a search for a path in life that can make one continuously happy and enthusiastic, rather than a disease. If this mentality is continuously combatted, is the best interest of the youth really at the heart of this system of cultivation?

Keep your eye out in The Carroll News for Senioritis: Part two. Who am I kidding? That will never get written.