Senioritis infects students

Your alarm goes off and you know class is important, but staying in your cozy bed seems so much more relaxing. A big assignment is due Thursday at midnight, but the company of your best friends just seems so much more entertaining.

 These are few of the many symptoms of senioritis, a well-known “disease” among college seniors everywhere.

As Castleton University graduation approaches, seniors are deciding whether or not they are willing to dig deep or completely check out.

“So far I have seen excellent work ethic from my seniors this semester across the board,” communication professor Jessica Cowden said.

Cowden enthusiastically spoke of the seniors in her portfolio class, having very few absences, and her branding class, which so far has had perfect attendance.

Cowden said she relates to seniors.

 “I remember having to fight against it … I remember wanting to just blow it off, but I really forced myself to finish strong,” Cowden said.

 It may be easy to give into senioritis, but so far Cowden has seen a lot of her students trying to finish strong. Students are realizing the importance of making a good impression on professors so they will later have good recommendations.

Cowden isn’t the only one at Castleton University who remembers having senioritis.

“I've been around here for a very long time, but not so long that I can't remember having it myself,” said communication professor Bob Gershon with a chuckle. Gershon has been a professor at Castleton for 40 years and has seen many seniors come and go. His observation is that seniors who check out before graduation, weren't necessarily the ones who put in the most effort to begin with.

He acknowledged, though, that some seniors – even the strong students – lose focus.

“Sometimes seniors work really hard, and are really not themselves,” Gershon said.

For seniors, this is the last time they will have access to what the university has to offer and the freedom of college, so they like to take advantage and work as hard as they can.

Teachers aren’t the only ones who deal with the impact of senioritis. The stress hits students the hardest.

“I know that when you're dealing with your capstone … it’s a ton of stress and it’s easier to just check out from it all than to try and do all the work,” says senior Patrick Cote-Abel, a double major in history and communication.

With all the work seniors have on their plates, professors and students say it is important to keep your eyes on the prize.

“Surround yourself with people who are also not succumbing to it that much. If you're hanging out with people who just want to screw around and do nothing, you're going to be inclined to do that, but if you surround yourself with people that are still working hard and trying to accomplish things even that last semester, you're more likely to do it,” said Cote-Abel with a smile creeping onto his face.

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