As the countdown continues toward graduation, seniors find themselves caught in a sort of twilight zone--that point in time between receiving a high school diploma and entering a new adult life, whether in college or the work force.
It's hard to remain in the here and now. Exams, final papers, homework. "Why bother?" many cry. "We're outta here."
It's called senioritis.
Here's a look at that affliction and excitement facing college-bound seniors.
Will college mean freedom from the clutches of smother-mothers or lonely isolation that leaves us gazing wistfully at a stash of family snapshots?
We haven't the slightest idea.
It's a bit scary imagining leaving for college in a few short months. Most college-bound seniors seem to fear or eagerly anticipate the coming experience. Some have both emotions at once.
Going to college evokes many images: caffeine pills the week before midterms; turning all your new white shirts, socks and underwear pale pink in the wash; discovering that your roommate performs satanic rituals in the middle of the night, realizing that you're no longer the big shot on campus but rather just a little fish in a gigantic pond of scholars.
The list doesn't end there.
What about determining your major and career? We've heard horror stories about the student who changed her major 12 times before returning to her original choice. And the age-old problem of finding new friends. Uncertain and alone on a distant campus, we must take the initiative and responsibility of meeting the right friends.
Entering college is often an initiation into adulthood: Inexperienced high school youths must learn to manage time and money while trying to discover their niche in a new environment.
Despite the apprehensions, most seniors seem quite optimistic and eager about the transition.
Maybe college is a place to start anew, to try not to make the mistakes made in high school and, ultimately, to change.
It's a time for self-discovery in a place that affords the opportunity to be exposed to perspectives of students from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Many seniors eagerly await the chance to move out, to liberate themselves from the tyranny of parents.
Freedom in deciding when to party, when to study, when to sleep and when to return to the dorm is very alluring--especially for those students who have been under strict parental control all their lives.
Acquiring the ability to really fend for yourself--as well as the knowledge to be gained from interacting with professors and peers--makes college a much-anticipated place.
Can we who still enjoy getting the surprise toys in Happy Meals and manage to overspend every month's allowance shoulder the responsibilities of the mature college student?
We don't know yet.
But maybe the uncertainty about the future is one of the most appealing and exciting aspects of college. In a few months, it will begin to happen. For now, we can't wait.