Opinions, Column

Senioritis and Shifting Priorities

Conventional wisdom suggests that as you progress through your four years of college, you’ll begin to assume increasing levels of responsibility in all aspects of your life. In many ways, this is true, especially for Boston College students. Ask any senior on campus right now and they’ll probably tell you they’re on the board of some club, TAing for some class, and on the hunt for an impressive post-graduate opportunity.

Amid this climb, however, there is also the common phenomenon of a burnout so infectious, it’s earned its own name: senioritis. 

By senior year, a lot of BC students realize that they don’t actually want to run the clubs they’re in anymore. They just want to continue to be a part of the community by coaching from the sidelines while letting some amped-up sophomore take the wheel. 

Given the nature of my personality, I assumed I would be immune to senioritis, or at least capable of outrunning it. I’ve always been the kind of person who has to keep moving. I’m someone who, for better or worse, doesn’t really have an off switch.

At the end of my junior year, I happily applied to leadership positions and looked for every opportunity to fill the negative space on my Google Calendar. No matter how often I tell myself that a little free time can be a good thing, I just can’t help myself—I love being busy. 

Or, at least I used to love being busy. But something in this second semester has shifted. For the first time in my life, I’m not constantly on the brink of exploding, and it is quite frankly a bit scary. Fret not, however, I am still busy—my schedule just isn’t constantly overflowing like it used to be.

I don’t have to worry as often about club meetings overlapping with office hours or class, and I’m not ferociously refreshing my email every five minutes for my next task to update. I even have time to get lunch with my friends on a whim, which has been unthinkable for the last three years. 

Of course, I’m still on time for my responsibilities, I use Google Calendar religiously, and I’m always going to be a bit neurotic about managing my grades, extracurriculars, and social life. If this wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t be a BC student. Still, a little bit of senioritis might have been just what the doctor ordered to help me set my priorities straight. 

My well-being and the well-being of my family and friends come first. Immediately next comes academics (obviously). Then, finally, everything else kind of lines up in a hodgepodge behind it. For the first time since stepping foot on campus as a freshman, I feel like I can breathe. 

I have wonderful friends, I’m taking exciting classes, and I have a supportive family. My professors are wonderful, I feel connected to the BC community, and I get to live in a big red Monopoly-Mojo-Dojo Barbie-Dreamhouse with some of my best friends! 

After graduation, I can pack the rest of my life into tiny white boxes on Microsoft’s Outlook Calendar. I might as well take the time to stop and smell the perfectly-blooming tulips that will soon adorn our campus. 

I’ve spent my life aggressively trying to outrun this slowdown, but now that it’s got me in its grips, I’m realizing that it isn’t that bad. It may be a good thing to seriously reevaluate your priorities every once in a while. At different points in your life, different responsibilities will take precedence over others, but perhaps it’s not necessary to constantly be in a state of near-panic. 

Maybe I sound like Ferris Bueller leaning back in his desk chair, preaching how “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” But to all the Camerons out there—myself included—Bueller’s right.

February 25, 2024