We’ve all heard senioritis horror stories, witnessed upperclassmen mentally checking out months before walking across the graduation stage and waited patiently for our own chance to play the senioritis card.
Unfortunately, even senioritis pales in comparison to the Zoom fatigue everyone — not just those of us who are graduating this May — has experienced in the past two semesters.
While online classes guarantee a COVID-19-free learning environment, they also contribute to burnout and exhaustion for students and professors alike. Without a defined schedule, one loses all sense of time and separation: weekends and weekdays blend together, and leisure time slips through the cracks.
Students have already suffered through one and a half semesters of online classes without routine or regularly scheduled breaks — I doubt anyone expects much more from the coming spring semester.
As I sit on my parents’ couch — aka my makeshift office for the time being — and try to soak up every last second of winter break I have left, I can’t help but envy the freshmen class.
Starting college during a pandemic could not have been easy, and last semester was definitely not a walk in the park by any means, but those freshmen have three more years to look forward to. Three more years to settle back into normalcy, to go on spring break trips and make the kind of questionable decisions that are only socially acceptable for college students to make. The seniors don’t.
Sure, every graduating class goes through its share of emotions and struggles — leaving college in and of itself is a big change — but come May, the class of 2021 is going to leave the safety of the University, with its personalized class schedules and regular breaks, under the worst possible conditions.
Job prospects are bad, there’s still a global pandemic happening and the political climate just keeps getting more and more turbulent, yet members of the class of 2021 will soon be launched out into the great big “real world” with nothing but our bachelor’s degrees to our names.
Of course, it would be self-centered to think we are the only ones suffering, and I cannot deny that millions are facing much bigger issues than what essentially boils down to “oh no I’m graduating this semester,” but the chagrin of being denied the coveted excuse of “having senioritis” isn’t exactly lost on me.
After three and a half years of college, I can’t even blame my rapidly nearing goalpost as an excuse for my fatigue. Everyone is exhausted. Everyone is living in the middle of a pandemic, losing loved ones and anxiously watching news coverage of the riots in the U.S. Capitol, all while attempting to pass their classes and maintain some sort of socially-distanced social life.
Yes: our senioritis pales in comparison to the bigger issues faced by students today. Yet, I guarantee that it’s going to hit harder this semester than ever. I know graduation isn’t really the “light at the end of the tunnel” it’s made out to be — but you can 100% still expect to catch me wearing Hawaiian shirts on Fridays and marking off the days on my calendar until the end of finals .
You’ve got this, seniors! Only 112 more days to go.
Marie Plunkett is a 21-year-old classical studies senior from New Orleans.