Coming back for my last quarter at DePaul, I find myself extremely unmotivated. As a result I can no longer deny that I suffer from the disease commonly known as Senioritis. I realize that I am lucky that I didn’t contract this illness earlier in the year, like many of my cohorts, but nevertheless it has already become detrimental to my academic work. Only one week of classes has gone by and I am already behind on papers, reading and various other assignments. My attentions have turned to applying for jobs, apartment hunting, and writing portfolios for MFA programs; in other words, I have started to focus more on my future, than my present. However, it has come to my attention that this is counterproductive.
In the last two weeks I have become post-graduation job hunting obsessed. In the span of two days, I applied for twenty entry-level jobs in the publishing industry across the United States from editorial assistants, to reception, to marketing assistants. A week later that number shot up to thirty-five. My leasing agreement for my apartment for the next year is due in a little over a week, and the rent is skyrocketing, so I started apartment hunting here in Chicago, a place I don’t even know if I’ll still be living in after I graduate. I have also been writing short story on top of short story, sending them out for workshopping so they can be revised for MFA applications. Plus my internship and job.
Needless to say, I, like most seniors in my position, have a lot on my plate, and how I handle it is by pushing my school work to the side. My logic for this, of course, is flawless: my future is more important. I went to college to learn, have fun and do what I love, but I also went so I could get a job, so, my current goal is to actually accomplish this. The problem is, if you are only focused on your future, your present starts to get lost. You apply for these jobs in the present, the experience you need to get to qualify for them is in the present. My writing is in the present. Everything that I am trying to do in order to get to my future is all happening in the present, so it makes no sense for my attentions not to be at least partially focused on the here and now.
Your classes are also in the here and now. You never know what you might learn from those classes, what experiences you might gain, that could contribute to your future. Besides, you don’t want to fail the class because then it doesn’t matter how much planning for the future you have done. You don’t want to completely ignore your future, but you don’t want to ignore your last quarter of college either. Do your school work, job and internship first. Apply for jobs, and plan and freak out about what you are and aren’t prepared for in-between. But first and foremost, relax and enjoy your last few weeks of freedom before the bright terrifying door to adulthood opens and you are shoved through. If you play your cards right, you won’t fall on your face.
As for Senioritis, the only cure is graduation. In the meantime, your safest bet is to look for help. If you don’t think you have done your best work, ask someone to look over it. Don’t lock yourself away focusing only on school work all day or you’ll end up on YouTube all day, or if you’re me you’ll have multiple Doctor Who and Game of Thrones marathons over and over and over again. Even though this might teach you that it is, in fact, impossible to get tired of either show, it is the opposite of productive. If you need more structure, plan out certain times of the day where you’ll do school work or whatever else you need to do that day, so that you can do whatever you want to in between, whether that is, in fact, YouTube or if it is going out.