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The common cold

April 4th, 2014

I was diagnosed with senioritis as a freshman. I’m not quite sure how I contracted the bug, but I wasn’t able to recognize the symptoms inside me until my junior year.

Now, premature as it still is, I’m battling a full-blown infection. The amount of “sick days” I’ve called in to the Office of Productivity continues to grow.

Some days, I’ll fully recognize the mountain of homework waiting to be completed and all I can bring myself to do is worry about how little of it I’ve accomplished. Then, exhausted from my worrying, I resign myself to sleep, having accomplished nothing demonstrable whatsoever. The worst part about avoiding your work is that it doesn’t go away. Hiding from it doesn’t solve the problem, it adds to the very issue you were avoiding in the first place.

It’s a sad routine, and college students know it all too well. Between heavy homework assignments and the dread of impending finals growing every day, students tend to feel more deflated and less motivated as spring rolls around. Those concerns, coupled with personal relationships and extracurriculars, is enough to make any student’s head spin. So it’s very easy to see how we, as students, fall into a less-than-stellar academic routine this late into the semester.

If you’re feeling the same symptoms as me, don’t despair. The cure to late-semester lethargy is much more simplistic than you might think.

It’s no secret that everybody needs motivation. Without it, even the most capable people don’t end up accomplishing anything. Identifying your own form of motivation is the first and most important piece in pushing through any senioritis symptoms that might be creeping in. Whether it’s a countdown to summer or the satisfying feeling of finishing an assignment that you’ve been putting all your time into, focus on that motivation.

After finding your motivation, apply it to all of your work. Let’s face it, nobody enjoys taking classes to meet core requirements. I can safely say that I would not miss math class if the core didn’t insist that I take it. In fact, I’d be thrilled if I could strike that requirement. But, if you focus on what’s driving you to get through, even your version of math class won’t seem so bad.

The strange thing about motivation is that it can change the way you view the work you do. Assignments you formerly viewed as painful tasks become less stressful and, I dare say, can actually be enjoyable. With motivation and goals in mind, the drudgery of school work disappears.

As finals approach and the sweet release of summer follows closely behind, I’m feeling a lot less under the weather these days. It seems as if I’ve found my motivation. Whether you blame it on the increasing temperature (it’s about time) or the decreasing number of classes left to attend for the semester, I’ve found my antibiotics. I’m finding that proper motivation can change your perspective and cure your senioritis symptoms.

So, as the warm weather starts begging you to go outside when you should be studying, don’t dote on your current assignments and lose faith that you’ll get them done. If you choose that, you’ll ensure that you meet your expectations.

Reinvigorate your inner bookworm by focusing on what lies ahead. When you’re stuck in a rut, remind yourself of your motivation and keep working hard. The relentless grind of classes and studies will feel like less of a grind.

With this attitude guiding me, I find myself getting excited about finishing my homework. It sounds strange, I know, but as I get closer to finishing my work, I also know that I’m getting closer to whatever was motivating me in the first place.

So, even though I’ve still got senioritis, I think I’ve found my remedy. Simply, if you learn to whistle while you work, before you know it, nothing will feel like work at all.