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Friday December 15th 2017

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Where Has the Time–and Motivation–Gone?

By Kayla Samek—Even though many students face a growing pile of projects, papers, and tests at this time of the semester, most if not all face some form of “senioritis” regardless of their year. This lack of motivation can stem from several factors, but there are simple ways for students to trudge through these last few days and make it to Summer Break.

According to a professional therapist at Brown University, lack of motivation is usually a long-term problem or a recent one. In the case of a long-standing lack of motivation, it may be a sign of a learning disability or mental health issue like depression. A problematic feeling of indifference that has arisen recently may be induced by the use of substances like marijuana or alcohol. Or it may be due to being worn out and weary from the semester’s work. It also may simply be due to the fact that summer is in sight.

Career Counselor Stacie Hays sees many students at the end of the semester with senioritis affecting not only their school work but also their planning for life after college.

“What I see a lot of with students is procrastinating school work and using that as an excuse to  put off searching for jobs, applying for housing, etc.,” said Hays.

Whatever the cause, students can employ some easy strategies to overcome end-of-semester-laziness.

  1. Take Care of yourself–Academic disinterest can turn into generalized apathy. Getting enough to eat and enough sleep can help stave off laziness.
  2. Set Goals and Reward yourself for meeting them–Once an assignment or project goal has been met, go out with friends, make an impulse purchase at the mall, or simply take a walk around your favorite park. Taking a break can help restore some lost motivation, and can work as a positive reinforcement when you get some work done.
  3. Talk about it–Whether it’s with a friend, parent, or campus counselor expressing all the feelings of ending a school year can help determine the cause of one’s disinterest or just help relieve anxiety over what is to come.
  4. Be realistic, but don’t give up–If it’s the last week of class and this is when you start worrying about your grades, it may be too late for an A. However, there may be a chance for a C or B grade if you talk with your professor, turn in all of your assignments, and study hard for any tests.

More tips for avoiding that end of the year slump can be found here and here.

Dr. Jessica Pleuss of the Psychology Department, knows seniors have the greatest amount to worry about but also some of the worst cases of “senioritis,” but even that isn’t a cause for concern for the majority.

“For most seniors it is not a problem–the assignments still get completed, albeit last-minute and not with 100% effort, for instance,” said Dr. Pleuss

So, finding motivation just gets harder as the year drags on. But, the pressure of a deadline or a graduation date is enough of a motivator to get assignments done.