As a four-year college student, your Senior year is definitely the most emotional. Despite the excitement of looking toward graduation and getting that degree, you are also overwhelmed with anxiety for what the future holds as a young professional. What will you do once you graduate? How will you get a job? Will you move far away from friends and family to pursue a career, or move back home to recollect? All of these questions are daunting, especially with the inevitable Senioritis clouding your daily routine. During my Senior year I learned a lot about myself, my friends and family, and how to ease into the working world. Hopefully you will learn these lessons as well.
1. Time Flies!
You may think that this year will go very slowly, since it is your last year of college and you can’t wait until it’s over. You’re wrong. Senior year is by far the quickest and is gone before you know it. It is a time for reflection. I remember looking back on all of my college years and I still feel as though my freshman year was only yesterday. As a senior you will look back at the friends you’ve made and lost, parties you’ve crashed, times you’ve fallen in love – It all seems like a huge, sped up blur. Four years is much shorter than you think, and most likely you are a completely different person than when you started (which is a good thing). My senior year was filled with panic at how quickly college life was slipping away, along with the pressure of finding a career soon after. It made me feel that life in general must go by this fast. Suddenly I’d be getting married, having children, becoming old and wrinkly, and then, boom, I’m dead! My advice is to cherish this year. Take things slowly, make an effort to see your friends, go to campus events, and be mindful of how wonderful your college experience has been. Leave tomorrow in the future and enjoy the present.
2. Still Clueless About What You Want To Be When You Grow Up
This was the final lap before the real world, and I still had no clue what I wanted to do once I graduated. I drowned in anxious questions – What kind of job do I apply for? Will I get a job? Should I move away or stay in Boulder? What about my boyfriend and my friends, where will they go? I felt like a complete loser who didn’t have my sh* t together. But what I neglected to realize is that everyone was in the exact same boat. The majority of Seniors are uncertain of their future and are also freaking out. The best thing you can do is to just go with the flow and know that the universe will help you find your path in life. Just breathe. If you take the initiative to apply for jobs, grad school, or plan for other adventures, it’ll all work out.
3. Grades Don’t Really Matter
This sounds absurd, but it’s the truth. As long as you pass all of your classes and maintain a decent GPA you will still be able to kill it in the working world. Senioritis is not necessarily a bad thing. If anything it reveals that crumbling in stress over schoolwork is not the way to success. Senior year I learned to relax and devote a realistic amount of time towards my studies. Relieving yourself from the stress of getting top grades lessens your angst, and results in getting more sleep, having more free time, and focusing on yourself. You’ll be surprised that your grades may be better once you relax a little. And to be honest, most employers will not consider your GPA when hiring you. The sole fact that you graduated with a bachelor’s degree will get you very far. I’m not saying you should slack off, just ease up a little, trust that you are intelligent, and give yourself some free time.
4. Your Real Friends
Throughout all four years you have tons of people come in and out of your life. From friends in the dorms, different roommates, and study buddies, each year in college is like a different era full of a variety of different faces. Once I became a Senior, the number of friends that I had Freshman year that were still around my Senior year was slim. I lost many connections throughout each year, though learned to value the friends that stuck around. It doesn’t matter if you have twenty best friends, or three. The fact that you have those wonderful people in your life is marvelous. The friends that are still by your side Senior year are ones that will be there forever. It was frightening to think that once I graduated many of my friends would be moving away and that I would lose touch. Just know that even if you separate, best friends will always reconnect. Make the effort this year to show them how much you appreciate their friendship before it’s too late.
5. How Amazing Your Parents Are
I cannot stress this enough – Your parents are probably the coolest, most wonderful people in your life. Not only did they raise you in a loving home, but sent you away to college to better yourself as an intelligent individual. My parents were so proud of me when I graduated college; despite the daunting debt I had put them in because of it. As a Senior I used to cry to my mom about feeling lost and unsure of what I wanted to do with my life after college. She assured me that my feelings were normal, that I would succeed, and that she and my dad would always have my back. Even if you weren’t blessed with ideal parents, you can look to the educated adult you have become because of your upbringing to find strength. Nowadays, 30 is the new 25. There is no rush to grow up and find a career that completely supports you financially right off the bat. Unlike the 1950’s, when you’d have a career, a wife, and kids by the age of 25, you have time to explore, dabble with a few jobs, and take your passion to a new level. Your parents know that and are there to help guide you. Thank them for all that they’ve done, and go forth confidently knowing that you are not alone.