My junior year at Georgia Southern University was coming to a close and already I was coming down with the early symptoms of the massive plague that is Senioritis. For those unaware, senioritis is defined by the internet dictionary as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”
As illegitimate as it seems, senioritis can be a very real thing for any student finishing up their last year of schooling. After three years of last-minute studying, panic-inducing homework, and tear-inducing grades, many students come up on their senior year feeling either worn out to the point of detachment, or anxious to the brink of depression about the future ahead.
I was feeling very much the same way as junior semester ended and I was looking into internships and post-college job opportunities with little motivation and a lot of anxiety. Something had to be done. As silly as it may sound, something clicked deep within my subconscious and the next day I remembered Jim Carrey’s 2008 movie, Yes Man. A movie based on the premise that saying “yes” to everything opens up more positive and rewarding experiences in life.
Obviously I wasn’t going to say “yes” to literally everything asked of me, but I realized that over the course of three years at the university, I had certainly learned the power of “no” a little too well. No, I do not want to go Claire’s party on a Tuesday. No, professor, I don’t have time to go to French club’s meetings on Fridays. No, I can’t volunteer on Saturday mornings.
The practice had left me feeling more drained and pessimistic about life. Moreover, I was missing out on the things that made college exciting in the first place. So I challenged myself to never be too tired for anything, and to accept nearly all the invitations that floated my way. This included giving rides to my friends who didn’t have cars and attending more school-sponsored events.
Less than a week later, I was zipping around from place to place like a chicken with its head cut off – it was exhilarating. Every day was new and exciting. I sang, poorly, in the French talent show and scored major points with my Conversational French professor.
I was a trixie in the city’s shadow cast performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and got to throw condoms out to the audience. I accepted a summer internship in Savannah for a political campaign and fell in love with the city immediately. By the time my senior semester ended, I had written for three separate organizations, corresponded with the talented poet Stephen Burt, performed and happily embarrassed myself in two big dance competitions, and cemented stronger connections with my professors and friends guaranteed to last a lifetime.
My advice to anyone catching senioritis, or anyone that finds themselves in a slump, is to challenge yourself to say yes more. Push yourself, even when you’re feeling tired, to go out and do something–anything. The momentum of energy will carry itself to all other aspects of your life and leave you feeling more motivated, more happy, and less afraid.