Some see “senioritis” as an excuse to forget their homework and go dancing the night away instead. Others say they think it means not having to come to class as long as they turn in their assignments. To me “senioritis” is that painful lump in your throat that doesn’t let you swallow; that clammy feeling you get when you have no idea what’s about to unfold. It is that thin but sturdy hourglass, swiftly passing grains of sand from one half to the other, making sure you know that every second you are one second closer to running out of time.
I didn’t think I would ever get this “-itis”. I never had it in high school and I took my senior year as a final opportunity to impress colleges with my last minute accomplishments, while others in my class let their grades crash and burn along with their will to go to school. As a senior at Florida International University life is a little different. In my high school days everything was set. I was set to attend the University of Miami in the fall. I had landed two jobs- coaching a dance team and teaching at a local dance studio. At 18, I was working harder than most people I know in their 20s.
Clearly, I hate uncertainty.
My life today is all about uncertainty. This is what I define my “senioritis” by. It’s that little obnoxious daily reminder that I have no idea what I’ll be doing in 2months. It’s knowing that I’m probably going to have to quit all 4 of my part-time jobs when I find a real one- IF or when I find a real one. It’s putting off looking for jobs after interviewing for just 1 because I don’t want to get multiple jobs and have to turn one down after all the hard work, but also risking not finding one at all for only trying to get one at a time.
Most importantly, it’s figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.
Here’s the downside to being a jack of all trades- I don’t know which to choose. Juggling options is fun when you look for part-time jobs and have more to offer on your resume than the next candidate, but it’s the main cause of that gut-wrenching anxiety when it’s time to pick what you want to do with your life. I got my degree in journalism which is broad enough as it is. I could go into magazine writing, which I loved when I did my internship, but it required too much travel. I could do newspaper which I hated for a long time, but now that I have dipped my toes in the water I have seen how invigorating the rush of going out and creating a story really is. I could do broadcast which was my childhood dream, but it has since then died out as I realized the pressure of being on camera and having people judge every little mistake you make.
Then there’s dance. I could take the easy way out (which is my last resort in case I don’t find a job within the next 6 months) and open my own dance studio. The problem with that is that it’s so easy to do that every dancer in Miami has done it. There are more dance studios open in the area than there are dancers! I know my communications skills would help me rise above the rest but it would be very difficult to recruit students without taking students from the places where I teach now, which are all places that made me who I am. I would hate to take students from my bosses and I know it would end up happening because they beg me all the time to open up my own place, and that’s really why I don’t want to take this option.
Then there’s education. I think that’s all I have to say for you to understand why I shouldn’t go into this field. With the crisis going on today with this country’s educational system they should hospitalize any applicants for attempted suicide. I always said I would only teach dance or journalism, preferably to high schoolers, so I did my area of concentration in it and took all the required courses for my certificate. Why would I do this to myself? Is it worth the $38,000 a year salary to throw it all away on teaching a subject that will probably die out in the next few years anyways?
So that’s my predicament. That’s my “senioritis”. It’s having to make decisions that I don’t feel ready to make. It’s possibly making the wrong decision and living my life on the wrong route. It’s wanting to slap everyone who tells me to “leave it to destiny” or “not to worry, that everything will be alright”.
It won’t be alright because I’ll be jobless.
Let’ say I do find a job. That’s when the second phase of “senioritis” kicks in. How do I know FIU has provided me all the skills that I will need in the work force? It’s sad to say that most of the learning I’ve done in my years here was learned this semester. This is probably the first time I enjoy coming to class; the first semester that I don’t wake up and try to come up with a lame excuse for not attending class. I’ve loved school as far back as I can remember. That vigor pretty much died out for a few semesters but I feel like I have that passion again now and I’m just trying to figure out what to do with it. Do I feel that all professors here should be qualified to decide what I leave here knowing? No. Do I think most of my teachers were helpful? No. There are a select few who have really guided me and tried to make me a better writer. Most have just told me I’m good enough already, given me the A and moved on to the next student. I love being an honor roll student but I don’t really feel like I deserve all the As I’ve gotten. I left some classes without knowing what a beat was! I worked on a beat or 8 weeks with one professor before she was able to explain what it actually was. Even then, I could hardly understand her explanation because of her thick Spanish accent, so I never really got the full effect of her explanation. Pretty lame.
So it all comes down to these last 3 weeks. This “senioritis” has found itself a comfy little corner in my daily life now. It wakes me up and mocks me for going by another day without knowing what will happen after May 2. It tugs at my stomach when I try to eat, making me lose my appetite and slow my metabolism which ultimately has made me gain 10 pounds since January. It makes my days go by faster than ever, making sure I have no free time to get my life together. He really is a mean little critter.
Now that you know what senioritis meant to me, take a look at what it means to some other college students.