Here are the ten things no one ever told me going into my last year of college. And so, I want to share them with all of you. Some of these things you might not experience, as everyone is different, but I hope that some of these will help you prepare for what senior year will bring.
1. It will be harder than anyone makes it out to be. When I started my first semester of my senior year, I knew that the year was going to be a difficult last stretch. Although, I did not realize how hard and draining it was going to be. I took 18 credits both semesters, and even in second semester I could feel the overwhelming stress the most. Just know that you will get through it. It will be hard, but you will get through it.
2. You will instantly feel much older than everyone else. When you compare yourself to the younger classmen, and even yourself when you were just a junior, everything automatically seems different. Even partying doesn’t sound as appealing as it did when you were a freshman. (Although of course you still try to go out as much as you can.) But you have changed, your priorities have changed, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s how it should be.
3. The pressure of finishing strong in school while trying to get a full-time job will be overwhelming. This was the one thing that no one ever told me going into senior year. Everyone either doesn’t talk about it, or they really underrate how overwhelming it is. Trying to balance your mental health of finishing your last semester and getting a full-time job is ridiculous. This was the one thing that made my stress levels go soaring. Not only is it stressful with class workload, but adding the stress of trying to get a job on top of that is even worse.
No matter what, please realize that most people are in the same boat as you. Having a job lined up right after college is not as normal as you think, unfortunately. And if you did/do have a job lined up, then #bless to you. Most aren’t that lucky.
4. You grow so much as an individual and as a young professional. This last year is focused on your priorities only. And when this dramatic shift in priorities takes place, without realizing it, you grow and mature with those. At the end of your senior year, you will look back and be amazed by how much you have grown just in that last year.
5. You will feel sentimental. Really, it doesn’t hit you that you’re graduating until the time of your graduation ceremony – and maybe not even then. It is crazy how much four years of college flies by. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. Before you know it, you will be graduating.
If you don’t know, I am a pretty sentimental and emotional person. So for me, really believing that college was over was difficult. It might not be for you, but if anything, you’ll feel that now more than ever.
6. You will finally realize who your true friends are and who are worth staying close to after college. This is not a bad thing. It is important to figure out which people are genuine, and when it comes down to it, who actually care.
As you get older, you don’t have as much time to party and hang out whenever you feel like it. Having true friends that can be a support system through this last year will be important. You need people in your life who will understand why you can’t go out all the time and see that you have changed only for the better.
7. You will start to miss those that you aren’t as close to anymore. Especially for me, as sentimental as I am, I really started to miss the friends I made freshman year. They were the first friends I met in college and who helped me through. Freshman year is the first experience of getting used to being on your own, and so it can be difficult. Thankfully, it was a lot easier for me because I had these people to experience it with. They were the first to be there for me and alongside me.
Obviously throughout the years, we went our separate ways and continued on. Although, in this last year I started to miss them more than ever. Make it a point to reconnect with people who have made an impact in your life – even if you are not as close to them as you once were. After graduation, you won’t know when you will see them next.
8. You will grow out of things you once used to love. As the college years go on, you grow. And with that, you grow out of things you used to love. I was sad when the organization I once loved being apart of wasn’t for me anymore. I had outgrown it. At first I was constantly wishing it stayed how it used to be. Although, I realized that it wasn’t ever going to be the same again. I had changed over the years and I wasn’t going to have the same experiences as I did as a freshman. My priorities were different and I was a different individual. It is alright to grow out of something you once loved, because that means you are growing as a person. Embrace the change and carry on.
9. You will never feel more relieved. When you finish your last presentation, your last exam, and your last class, you will feel an overwhelming sense of relief. It will be one of the best and weirdest feelings you have ever felt before. It is strange knowing you are finally done and have nothing else to do; but it is even better knowing you actually made it through.
10. You will feel proud of yourself. Once everything is said and done, you will feel relief and even more so, you will feel proud. A couple days later when you are walking across the stage, it will feel surreal. That sense of accomplishment and pride you have will be all worth the struggle you took to get here. Be proud of yourself, you deserve it.
So with this, I wish all the best to the 2017 graduates and luck to the incoming seniors. Seniors – enjoy the ride because it is very sweet and will impact your life more ways than one.