“Do I have senioritis? Is that why I don’t want to do any work anymore?”

I posed this question to Jordan on our way home this evening. We had just taken dinner to our priest and his wife to help them out because they’ve got a new little baby. “I mean,” I continued, “I just wish I could fast-forward to December, skip over all the work I need to do between now and then, and just be graduated.”

“Sounds like senioritis,” Jordan said, laughing a little.

It’s been hard for me to get motivated lately. The semester’s only three weeks in, but I’m plenty busy finishing my senior thesis. The English department requirement is a 30- to 50-page paper, and I’m already bleeding onto page 48, so at least length isn’t an issue. But I’ve got some major revisions to knock out, and I need to have a second draft done by this week. I think this is doable, but it’s overwhelming at times, and for various reasons I’ve had trouble getting my work done. Sometimes I feel intimidated; sometimes I feel burnt out; sometimes I just plain don’t want to do it. I know none of these are reasons to quit, and I’m not going to quit, but these feelings make it hard to do what I’ve got to do.

As I was considering all of this earlier today, an interesting line popped into my head: see every challenge as an opportunity to better yourself. I think it came to me because I was thinking about why I’m getting my degree in the first place: to gain professional skills, to hopefully get a good job…but also to better myself. To improve myself. To come out more refined, more prepared, more adept than I was when I started.

So when the last thing I want to think about is my thesis, I remind myself that this is a challenge I need to push through in order to make myself better. When I think about it that way, it makes it a little easier to sit down and get stuff done. It’s not a miracle cure, but it helps.


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