43 Senior-Year Thoughts You Have Right Before You Graduate, In Quick Succession

43 Senior-Year Thoughts You Have Right Before You Graduate, In Quick Succession

"What am I going to do with my life?!?"
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OK, friends, who thought they would have everything figured out by the time they hit last semester of senior year? Who thought they would know what they would be doing in May? Well, I'm here to tell you I have no idea. I could be in Scottland, California, or DC. I could be unemployed, working a minimum wage job, or working at an incredible firm.

Even though senior year has been one of the highlights of college, it has also been one of the most stressful because of how many unknowns I have in my life right now. Here is the train of thought I have pretty much every day.

1. Wow, I really need to get my life together

2. I'll totally get my life together tomorrow

3. I need to catch up with my best friend from freshman year, I'll totally keep in touch with her when I graduate

4. Why is everyone getting engaged?

5. Why is everyone else getting pregnant?

6. Having zero job offers is terrifying

7. Maybe I should just work at Disney Land

8. Will my parents let me move back in?

9. Wait, I can't move back in with my parents

10. How do you pay rent?

11. Who am I going to live with?

12. Why are apartments so expensive?

13. Where should I even live?

14. Will I have friends where I live?

15. I need a vacation

16. SPRING BREAK 20XX

17. Will I like my job?

18. Maybe I should go backpacking in Europe until I run out of money

19. Wait, I don't have any money

20. *Google searches how to travel and make money*

21. I think I'm going to work for corporate America

22. *Applies to 50 corporate entry-level jobs*

23. Oh, wait, I forgot I have to graduate

24. I thought my classes were supposed to be easy...

25. OH MY GOSH DID I EVEN PICK THE RIGHT MAJOR

26. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE

27. I wish my major had the job placement rate that *insert stem major* has!

28. What if I never live in the same city as my best friends again?

29. What would have happened if I didn't go to Baylor?

30. Was Baylor the right choice?

31. If I don't meet my SO in college, how will I meet someone?

32. *Joins online dating site*

33. *instantly regrets it*

34. But really, what am I going to do with my life?

35. I need to make this semester the best I've ever had

36. How am I going to leave my friends?

37. What are my friends going to do with their lives?

38. I should help them decide to avoid thinking about my own problems

39. Wow, my friends are so smart and talented and fun

40. Will I ever find friends this great again?

41. *Googles how to find friends after you graduate*

42. I think I like college

43. I'm definitely not ready to graduate.

Cover Image Credit: Jamie Fortin

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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6 Things The College Freshman Needs To Be Successful Their First Year

Stay on top of schoolwork, don't spend more than you need to and don't bring so many clothes, people!

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Because I'm so excited to go back to school this year, I decided to write an updated set of advice for incoming freshman. This should generalize to any college, not just the University of Minnesota. And remember: everyone's experience is different. What worked for me may not work for you, and something I struggled with might be a breeze for you. That's okay.

1. Work first, play later.

It's easy to take a look at your class schedule and see that, compared to high school, you have a lot of free time. You will learn to make the most of it. I'm sure you've heard this from a million and one people, but even if you didn't study in high school, you will need to in college. The absolute best time for this is right after you finish your daily lectures (assuming you have lectures during the day). This way, you'll still be in "school mode," and it will be easier to focus on your work. It sucks to have to pull yourself out of whatever you do for leisure to study. Plus, if you get your daily work done right after classes, you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want without homework looming over you. It takes discipline to do schoolwork when you could just as easily go home and take a nap or play video games, but a disciplined schedule will be much better for your school performance and overall happiness in the long run.

2. Leave your room to study.

I used to study in my dorm room. By study, I mean do anything but study. You might think that it would be just as easy to study in a quiet dorm as it is in a quiet library, but once you try it, you'll never be able to go anywhere else. I studied in my dorm room for about half of my freshman year, until I realized it was taking me an hour to do one or two math problems. I hopped on my bike and went to the beautiful Walter library, found a comfy chair next to a plant and got to work. It's so much easier to focus when you're in an academic space surrounded by other people who are all focused in and working. Even if your dorm room is quiet, there's something about a library or study space that puts you in a different mindset, making it much easier to focus. This advice is twice as important if you're trying to study while your roommate is not.

3. Decorate.

Your dorm or apartment is your space for the year: make it yours. Creating a pleasant atmosphere in your living space makes living there much more enjoyable. Putting up pictures that remind you of home or posters of your favorite bands will make your room feel less like a cell and more like a bedroom. I highly recommend string Christmas lights—they instantly make any room 10 times cozier. Get a soft rug to cover up the bland carpet or tile. Follow in the footsteps of my friend and borrow a road sign to hang above your bed to remind you of the street you grew up on. MAKE IT YOURS. Your room is your place to relax after a long, busy day, so make it a place you actually want to relax in.

4. Wait to buy books.

Make a list of the required textbooks for your classes, but don't buy them until after the first day of classes. Sometimes classes "require" a book that you could easily complete the class without, and you can save some money. If you are assigned a reading on the first day or the class requires an online portal code, chances are you are going to need the book. In that case, see if you can find it online for free or cheaper than a physical copy. Most of the time, the online version of a textbook is cheaper, and it's more convenient to carry around a laptop than four textbooks.

5. Don't bring too much clothing.

I could've gotten away with half the clothes I brought my freshman year. When moving out, I dug up t-shirts and sweaters I didn't even wear once. Bring your favorite outfits, some warm clothes, some workout clothes, something kind-of-formal and you'll be fine. If you're not moving too far away, you can always go home for a weekend and bring back what you need. Bringing fewer clothes frees up precious storage space and forces you to stay on top of laundry, which becomes tedious if you don't do it at least once every few weeks, especially if you don't have laundry appliances in your living space. Life in a dorm room is much more cramped than life in a house, so anything you leave behind will make it all the more bearable.

6. Not everything will go right.

And that's okay. No matter how many tips you use or how much advice you burn into your brain, your first year of college will be a challenge. Embrace it. It's exciting, but it's also scary. That's okay, too. Everyone else is scared too. I promise you. Lean on them. You'll have bad days, you'll sleep through a lecture, you'll probably fail a test and get less than desirable grades. All of these things are okay. Something bad will happen, and it will feel like the end of the world, but I promise you that if you stick with it and keep trying and keep learning, you will look back and be satisfied. Your first time doing anything is a learning experience, and college is no different.

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