Like most high school seniors, I grew more disengaged with every passing day. But as a college senior, every day, I become increasingly more appreciative of all the people and places around me. I only hope after reading this post, all underclassmen will live in the moment just a little more and all upperclassmen will stop to reflect as I have.
So, just a few things I know I’ll miss:
In the past four years, I've spent $200+ on textbooks per semester and I barely read a word. For the first time, I find myself actually reading and with enthusiasm. Who would have guessed?
Unless I decide on going to graduate school, never again will a significantly more experienced person get up in front of me and 30 of my peers to teach me how to be a better me. Think about it: a professor’s sole reason for being is to ensure that we learn. Learning is my responsibility now. I'll miss my professors...even the ones with no chili peppers.
2. Campus events.
The other day I went to a campus event by myself. I couldn't get a single friend to join me, but I just went. And I sat by myself and I met new people.
I wanted to go to this event for the past four years and this would be my last chance, so I just went. And in that moment, I realized I would experience a lot of lasts over the next few months.
3. Stretching every dollar.
Two words to describe college: free food. In retrospect, it's pretty incredible how we have the option to eat 1-2 free meals per day at school and yet, we are still so broke.
Well, that's okay. My finances in college taught me life lessons. I will certainly make it in the real world if I had that much fun in college without going bankrupt (not completely bankrupt anyway).
4. Staying out late and leaving home early.
I think college students either have as much energy as kindergartners or senior citizens. But we tend to stay up for the fun stuff--for the happiest of hours. College is a blast and when we don't sleep, we can still get straight A's. But soon enough we'll just be looking forward to Fridays, because Monday through Thursday, our plans will either be working late or sleeping early.
5. Complaining about professors.
Ratemyboss.com? I don't think so.
I can study for exams on the train, on the bus, outside the classroom, in the classroom, during class, as I'm writing my name on the exam while the professor says to put my notes away...but those days are gone. I can't just start planning my meetings at my meetings. No one is going to take me seriously.
7. Friends being on my schedule.
WHY DO I NEED TO CHECK YOUR OUTLOOK CALENDAR? Because I work now. And because we both have responsibilities. And they’re different. I guess we can't get bagels across the street in our 30-minute break anymore.
Imagine if we only had to work February through May and September through December. Imagine if we could take four months--that's 16 weeks--of vacation and still pay the bills on time. Actually, I can’t imagine it.
9. The possibility to study abroad.
Not in a million years will I be able to work for a company that allows me to abandon all my responsibilities for almost five months to "find myself" or "have a new experience" or whatever people call taking three credits in Venice.
Not studying abroad is a huge regret for so many post-graduates--with reason. To meet the pressure of promotion, winning respect, etc., it is difficult to explain staying home for two days, let alone traveling to Thailand for months to "find myself" while taking three hours of art history per week.
I will probably miss naps the most. Staying up all night to study for a morning exam is fine...because there are couches (or library chairs) that I could have some deep sleep on right after. Try sleeping at your work desk for four hours before your second meeting of the day. Please don't try it.