On Senioritis

Originally published in the College Voice at Connecticut College.

Maggie Brown was the last girl I ever dated. We parted ways probably later than we should have in the summer of 2006, she off to college four hundred miles away and I a rising high school senior with a serious but unacknowledged interest in men. Some things end exactly when they need to.

Fewer than fifty days from now, college will end for the class of 2011—admittedly with more ceremony than my inevitable split with Maggie. The senior class will be coaxed across stage, handed a diploma, and shoved into the world with the flip of a tassel and a photo op. With just six weeks left until that Sunday morning, our college experience—capital C, capital E—is dwindling. And we are starting to freak.

In anticipation of this shove-off, certain among us have managed to find employment, or post-graduate enrollment, or an enviable level of contentment with “taking a year off.” Still others, myself included, remain spinning in place, able neither to look backward nor forward in time with any measure of certainty. Each passing day is one in which I need to look for a job, keep up with my homework, and enjoy college life to the fullest/drunkest extent because it’s ending and it’s never coming back! The going is slow, to say the least.

This insanity is commonly termed “senioritis.” Symptoms include increased passivity, difficulty focusing, and a feeling of exhaustion and/or exasperation when attempting to complete otherwise straightforward assignments—for example, writing this editorial.

A few weeks ago, I sent cover letters and resumes to a number of Conn graduates currently working in my field of interest, canvassing for advice and maybe, secretly, praying for a surprise job offer. Responses varied, but one alumna recommended I move my education info to the bottom of my resume, below internships and extracurriculars, in order to “let people see the relevant stuff first.”

Crushed though I was, and doubly unmotivated to attend my 1:15 class, I saw what she meant—that I’ve gone to college is not as important as what I’ve done in my time here. The clichés of my college search came rushing back: It’s not where you study but how you study! College is what you make it! So, what have I made it?

Yikes—too real. Senioritis begs the tough questions.

Even as I sit here, typing, through the distracting whirr of a senioritic Sunday morning, an editorial about senioritis, turning over in my mind variations on a theme—seniorplegia: total paralysis of the senior, seniorectomy: (surgical) removal of the senior, seniorrhea: what happens when Conn gives us alcohol—ad nauseam (no pun intended), I begin to come to grips with the real point and get something resembling a grip.

Time marches at the same speed now that it did seven semesters ago, and life moves merely forward, though some mile markers are more alarming than others. Commencement marks the passage of time both precisely and imprecisely, just as a bar mitzvah begins manhood, a wedding begins matrimony, and my last girlfriend began a lifetime of dating men exclusively. Certainly the gears have been in motion for some time.

And so, in the spirit of My Senior Spring being both precise and imprecise, both poignant and typical, and by way of conclusion, I’m going to go hulu the latest 30 Rock. I hope it isn’t a disappointment.

Happy forty-eight days.

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