Seniors dealing with the devil of distraction in the final weeks

There is a dark force making its insidious way about this campus. Most dare not speak its name, but it makes itself known regardless, infiltrating most every academic endeavor and subduing victims within its narcotic, tentacular grip.

These tainted innocents walk among us largely unnoticed and unremarked upon, though savvy observers remain on the watch for identifying characteristics.

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Such marks include (but are not limited to) a pronounced lack of scholastic motivation, chronic employment of phrases like “whatever man” and “screw it, I’m off to the bar,” a perpetual case of red-eye, and a socially troublesome tendency towards copious amounts of nude frolicking (psh, as if there’s any other way to frolic).

Glancing back over my list of symptoms, I realize I went all over the place and could be describing anything from alcoholism to advanced rabies. In truth, the epidemic of  which I speak has the potential to encompass all these things and at least a couple more on a good day: the doctor is in and the diagnosis is senioritis.

Readers may wonder why I’ve spilled so much ink and exhausted so much of their valuable time jerking them around, beating about the bush, and just generally embodying a host of expressions for dodgy behavior. Why go all Hitchcock and ratchet up the suspense when I could just identify my topic and get it over with? The embarrassing answer is that I too have been afflicted.

The end of the semester will mark three years of churning these things out on a weekly basis, and quite frankly I’m scrounging around the bottom of the barrel for ideas at this point.

I mean, it’s gotten to where I’m washing my hands after each brainstorm sesh. Couple this with the famous final semester motivational slump and you’ve got a recipe for writerly underachievement.

Always the pragmatist, I thus elected to try and spin straw into something maybe marginally more appealing than straw by taking my dilemma as the subject of this article. After all, the status of senioritis as high school/college trope extraordinaire ensures that I might click with someone out there.

This apparent fortuity, however, soon proved to be a double-edged sword: much as I tried to prevent myself from diverging into Nonsense Tangent Land, my condition got the better of me, and so much of the intro is obnoxious filler.

Still, I have enough verve left in these old bones to try and cast off the shackles of apathy for a semi-serious exploration of those factors enabling the damnable beast; before prevention, it is said (someone said it once, don’t challenge me on this or I’ll cut you), comes the compassion to understand.

Firstly, logic would denote that proximity to graduation is a key factor, but a glance beyond the surface reveals that this fact may affect people in myriad ways.

Some may be eager to take up a new tack at their grad school of choice (maybe “choice” isn’t the word, given how competitive things are getting); others may be anxious about post-grad prospects and therefore disenchanted with their remaining undergrad work; and a sizeable pocket of the senior population probably just wants to go apeshizazzle before real-world responsibilities chomp them somewhere highly sensitive.

As the contents of my first year as a college grad are still somewhat ambiguous, I’d place myself somewhere between the second and third camp. It seems to be a case of the grass always being greener on the other side: while I’m currently pretty burned out on writing papers and cobbling together presentations, give me a couple years and I’ll probably be begging to come back.

I suppose there’s little to do but buckle down, plow through the last month and remember that irony will always be fun.


      Justin Levesque can be contacted at



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