College is an experience like no other, you live in close proximity with strangers–all of whom are there with the same goal in mind, to graduate and earn a degree. These strangers quickly become your classmates, roommates, and best friends. Your campus, which once felt huge and mysterious when you arrived as a wide-eyed freshman with your family on move in day, gradually became more and more familiar and eventually, started to feel like home.
You know it well–the secret place you found freshman year where you could finally be alone and maybe even cry on a phone call with mom and dad, your favorite study space, and the spot in which you met the people who became your forever friends–this place is your second home. That is why senior year, even in the midst of excitement for the future and final adventures with friends, can get hard sometimes too. You become all too aware of what you managed to establish on your campus. You start to realize you’ll soon need to leave your home away from home and the family of people with which you surrounded yourself. Everyone has to graduate and move on to their next chapters in life and it is all ending much sooner than you want it to.
So much happens in four years; you laugh, cry, mourn, grieve, love, pull too many all-nighters, and ultimately begin to discover who you are. Looking back, you realize your classes have shaped and changed your worldview and the relationships you formed changed your life. The person you were when you entered college feels like a distant and foreign memory. I know right now everything feels chaotic and a little bit like your world is falling apart.
Term papers are longer than ever and senioritis has kicked in so it feels nearly impossible to get every assignment done while also keeping your sanity. Graduation applications are due, cap and gowns need to be ordered, senior pictures need to be taken, and it feels like there is not enough time in the day nor enough coffee in the world to allow you to do everything. Graduation was once just a far off date but has quickly become a deadline for which you must prepare. Beyond that deadline is a new life waiting for you, which is yet another stress on top of everything else you’re feeling.
While it is important to make sure you have everything done on time and are making plans for the future, it is also important to remember to enjoy your last days. Appreciate the adventures with your friends, take time to observe and listen to the way your campus sounds, and take advantage of your last chances to sit and listen to the insights your professors have to share.
Whether you know exactly where life will take you after you graduate or have not the slightest idea, remember, that everything always works out the way its supposed to.
Soon enough you will find yourself in a career, hopefully doing what you love, and looking back on ‘the good ole’ days’ of undergrad. Don’t get too caught up in to do lists and allow yourself to breathe, relax, and have fun. Just like it has in all of the previous semesters, you will get your work done and survive. There’s a world of excitement and possibilities for you and your friends on the other side, and you can and will accomplish anything you put your heart and mind to. So don’t let stress discourage you or keep you from finishing strong–you got this!
Your fellow stressed out college senior.