Senioritis In College Vs. “Senioritis” In Grad School

Written with Shawn Binder
We know, we know, everyone’s collegiate and graduate school experience is different! And PhD students, your experience is unique and special so take no offense if nothing below applies to you. Everybody, just take deep breaths if something offends you. It’s not a heart attack – smile, laugh, move on.

“Senioritis” is the feeling that the time has come for you to move on to bigger and better things. You spend so much time in an academic classroom you begin to become curious about what lays outside the world of textbooks and term papers. You begin to wonder if the end game is ever in sight. It is that feeling of unease that breeds a certain level of contempt for “the establishment” and general laziness. However, it is undeniable that undergrads don’t know squat about the pressures of being a graduate student with classes to teach and papers to grade in addition to their own. And then there’s the whole full-time or multiple-part time jobs that many endure. But whether you’re a college student or grad student, you know that reality of when laziness turns into anxiety and you are finishing your citations with five minutes left until that paper is due. #TheStruggle

Signs and Symptoms of Senioritis 

  • You tune out half the time in most all of your classes.
  • Papers are turned in at the last possible hour no matter how many extensions you are given.
  • You forget that people actually have review sessions in the hopes of achieving immaculate scores on their exams/final papers.
  • You have your graduation date and time memorized and everything you do relating to school is preceded with repeating said graduation date and time to yourself at least three times.
  • You use every absence your professor will allow before your grade is in danger of suffering.
  • You can’t stop day-dreaming about what a life of restful sleep without research papers and a thesis is like.
  • You’ve cried once or more at the thought of having to do one more semester/two more quarters at your establishment of higher learning.
  • You’ve forgotten what a healthy, home-cooked meal is like because you’re too busy pulling out your hair at the library and during your breaks rushing off to the Wendy’s drive-thru.


Shawn: I suppose I should get a LinkedIn right? I’m not really 100% sure how to create a resume but i’m going to try my damndest. Right now I can only really think about how many hours I’m getting at my part time job to afford rent and whiskey to think about a career. Maybe next month I’ll get serious about my future. No, definitely the month after that. How do you turn a degree into an actual career? S.O.S.

Kovie: Excuse me while I try not to get fired because everything I’m learning in school is making me hate work and society in general. And I’m not going to say that I haven’t written a paper/done readings for class while at work. But if you put me in an official courtroom of any kind, the fifth shall be taken. Should probably get back to that recruiter who wanted to interview me though. Well, maybe on Friday or next week. Maybe this degree will be worth something after all. LOL. Probably a lateral movement though. Signing bonus? Maybe?  No? What was I thinking? Lateral mobility is the new upward mobility!


Shawn: Oh? I don’t have an exam until next week, I guess I don’t really have to go until the review session. The power-points are usually online anyway. I’ll have my friend sign me in on the attendance sheet and power-nap my way to the weekend. I’ll probably wake up an hour befoer my exam and “power-study” while drinking a triple cappuccino and sob after the exam for the rest of the afternoon.

Kovie: Well, seeing as I’ve become an expert in skimming now, I’ve reached the point where I just start bullshitting and “going off” of everyone’s point in class discussions. All classes and readings have become one giant ball of confusion in my head, and my head hurts all. the. time. But everything sounds better as long as you can pretentiously find a way to involve Foucault in the discussion. (See what I did there?)


Shawn: Friends are practically my family. If I don’t see them three times a week I begin to feel like my social life is falling into irrelevance like the short-lived reality show The City. Speaking of which, where is Whitney these days? Instead of doing reading for class i’m going to wikipedia her. Who wants to do Whiskey Wednesday, I’ll DD?

Kovie: This is how grad school students build community: Person A – “How’s your quarter going?” Person B: “Dude, I have like 3 papers due by midnight tomorrow and I haven’t started any of them. My thesis chair is killing me with reminders, and I think my boss is tempted to fire me except he’s paying for this degree so…welp….Wanna get drinks after class?” Person A – “But what about your papers? I have a paper due tonight actually…screw it, I’ll have an hour by the time we get done.”


Shawn and Kovie: What is that?


Shawn and Kovie: LOL! (Sort of.) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – jjorogen

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