1. The over-ambitious proposal phase: Some Stetson senior research programs make you take a proposal course in the fall to outline your topic, methods, etc. This is the phase where every first- semester senior grossly overestimates how much they will care about their project in four months. The result is a project way too ambitious for undergraduates, which they’ll later regret.
Where you’ll find them: You can usually spot these seniors in a secluded spot in the library amidst a stack of books that they’ll never actually use.
Things you’ll hear them say: “I think my research actually has a decent chance of getting published.” “Of course I’m presenting at Stetson Showcase! Why wouldn’t I?”
2. Post-winter break denial phase: Being out of classes for almost an entire month sends every college student into a lull, but it always affects seniors worst. In this phase, senior research takes the back burner to “the last” of everything–the last opening baseball game, the last Greek Week, the last spring break (Kidding, there’s no spring break for senior research students). Draft due dates, application deadlines, and graduation just seem so far away, and all ambition is lost for the moment.
Where you’ll find them: These seniors lounge around the pool or beach.
Things you’ll hear them say: “So I was looking at Cancun prices for spring break…” “I mean, I still have four months to do all of this, right? Right??”
3. Spring break scramble: This is the phase where they realize they actually don’t have four months and try to make up for all of the work they haven’t been doing all semester. Spring break plans are off, and they’ve entered full-on panic mode. It’s now or never. There’s no more time for procrastination, Netflix, a social life, or bathing. Everything revolves around their project and they don’t have time for your shit.
Where you’ll find them: You won’t find them.
Things you’ll hear them say: “I may have over-committed…” “Shit.” “Who the hell is Foucault?”
4. The mourning phase: Their professor’s first draft comments just came back, and there’s a lot more work ahead. All hope of having a social life in the next few weeks just flew out the window, shattering their egos along the way. At this point, they’re just trying to hold themselves together for the sake of graduation. On second thought, that extra fifth year isn’t sounding half bad…
Where you’ll find them: In their professor’s office having a minor psychotic break because they’re so far behind. There also might be a few stragglers who you can spot crying in the library bathroom.
Things you’ll hear them say: “Mom didn’t send out those graduation announcements yet, right? “Maybe I could be a professional Pinterest blogger.”
To be continued…
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