Urban Dictionary, the place in which I’d happily get lost for hours, defines senioritis as:
noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation.
I’m not enjoying watching my kid afflicted by this overwhelmingly common phenomenon (though he doesn’t miss school nor wear only sweatshirts). High school has been one long trip in a country he neither understands nor appreciates (I soooooo remember this feeling). From day 1, he’s wondered why the Almighty would subject him to this and just how much longer til this trip is over.
I’d say his attitude seems more one of disillusionment than dismissal. He’s just done. The problem is, of course, that he’s not done.
I’d love to tell him if he just sucks it up and plows through, this will be over and a vague memory in no time. But that’s kind of a lie, isn’t it? We may finish high school, but there’s always more chapters in life that we’d love to skim through or skip altogether and get on to the next thing. I have a friend who knows she needs to leave her current job but has no other prospects yet. I broke up with my last boyfriend exactly a year ago and have no prospects yet. I know a couple who know exactly where they’d like to move but have no prospects to buy their current home yet. You feel me?
A fancy term to describe this is liminal space. It’s the in-between, the “I’m so done with A but don’t quite have B yet.” Whatever “B” might be.
It’s really easy to despise the liminal space. It can literally hurt to have outgrown a situation and not be allowed to get right into a more desirable situation. I suspect, though, that liminal space is way more important than point A or point B.
I’d guess none of us are good at waiting, especially now, when Amazon can deliver shit as soon as you think of it. It’s too bad technology has taken us to a place in which we literally lose our minds when we can’t have something yesterday.
I told my kid that this time in his life might be excruciating, but it’s not punishment. Liminal spaces have lessons to teach us if we give up the focus on the future that doesn’t yet exist. I’ve found this past year, which has been an in-between space in numerous ways, has taught me more than the 4 years prior.
Please don’t try and fast-forward through any chapters. It doesn’t work, first of all. And second, you’d be missing all the preparation you need to get to point B.
***Note: I wrote this yesterday morning and couldn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about when I’m going to get to point B. Dammit. How much longer??