Time is running out, here’s how seniors are spending last days as undergrads

Bucket lists and senioritis. The two go hand in hand for many University of Miami seniors during the spring semester, especially during the last weeks, days and hours at their soon-to-be alma mater.

Many are putting up valiant and not-so-valiant efforts to fight off the deadly senioritis virus with multiple notes to self: “Get up,” “Go to class,” “Write the paper,” “Study for the ‘final’ final.”

Michael Batey, a senior majoring in software engineering, said being a commuter student only weakens his resolve to fight senioritis.

“As a commuter student, senioritis hits hard when you wake up for class late and you live in Hialeah, 30 minutes away from campus,” Batey said.

Many seniors said they are experiencing emotions laced with laziness, nostalgia and a fear and excitement of what’s to come next. However, Chantel Acevedo, a professor in the English Department who teaches creative writing at UM, said students should not be too hard on themselves if they don’t always succeed in fighting off the senioritis bug.

“I don’t think seniors at UM are actually lazy, they just struggle with managing everything on their plate,” Acevedo said. “Having to manage time between classes, internships they are currently working or missing class for an interview opportunity, there are a lot of factors that play into senioritis.”

Antonio Espinoza, a senior finishing his degree in business law, is trying to stay focused.

“Since I’m taking 18 credits this semester, there hasn’t been much room for slacking in school,” said Espinoza, who is from Honolulu. “The only senioritis I have is putting off assignments for one class to work on a project I have in another class. At this point, I just want to graduate and be done with the stress of school.”

Outside of class, students said they are trying to get last UM experiences in by working on their bucket lists. Seniors are scrambling to see a performance at the Ring Theatre, visit the arboretum, check out the Lowe Art Museum and get a selfie at the iconic U statue near the bookstore.

As the academic year enters the home stretch, senior Anisha Clay has one specific item in mind to check off her bucket list.

Clay, originally from Chicago, has attended plenty of UM baseball games at Mark Light Field but has yet to indulge in one of the stadium’s famous milkshakes.

The wait time in line for a “Mark Light Milkshake” can get to be more than an hour.

“I know the last thing to do on my senior bucket list is simple, but it’s something every UM student needs to experience,” Clay said. “I can’t believe I haven’t had one yet.”

Some seniors, including Cole Stockstill from Germantown, Tennessee, said they have accomplished their campus bucket lists and are now focused on their South Florida lists. The last thing Stockstill said he wants to do before he enters the serious world of job-seeking is to go skydiving.

For senior cheerleader Grant Coffman, a Dublin, Ohio, native, time is running out for him to attend an infamous yacht party in Miami Beach.

“I’ve accomplished almost everything on my bucket list in the past year,” Coffman said. “The one Miami thing I still have to do before I leave is party on a yacht like you see in the DJ Khaled videos.”

UM basketball player Mike Robinson did some “pretty bucket list” things this past year, including playing a game in the American Airlines Arena and competing in the NCAA tournament.

Although playing on the same floor as Dwyane Wade and formerly LeBron James is a “once in a lifetime experience,” Robinson still wants to experience a Heat playoff game from a different perspective – in the stands.

“I’m making it happen, no matter how much homework I have,” said Robinson, who is from New Britain, Connecticut. “Now that Wade is back, it’s a must.”

Wade returned to play for the Miami Heat in February after a two-year stint away from the Magic City. He was signed twice during those two years to the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Senior Xanthi Katsigiannis, a public relations major from Greenwich, Connecticut, said she spent the majority of her time in college stressing about her grades. Now, she worries that maybe she spent too much time hitting the books instead of the beach.

“Throughout my senior year, I’ve wanted to focus on doing as many fun activities as possible to experience as much Miami culture as possible, like visiting the Vizcaya Museum or even spending more time at the beach with my friends,’’ Katsigiannis said. “Now that graduation is less than a month away, I’m beginning to stress about what I’m doing with my life more so than my classes.”

However, not everyone has a “to-do list” set in their minds before they walk across the stage on May 11, such as Hunter Tackett.

Tackett, an outfielder on the UM baseball team, said his bucket list is nonexistent.

“Am I supposed to have a bucket list?” said Tackett, a Knoxville, Tennessee, native. “I don’t have one. Never have.”

AUTHORS: Robert Bass Jr. and Kaley Fedko