Well, it's finals season, and with it come late nights of studying, copious amounts of coffee, and the urge to say "screw studying, I'm just going to go on a Netflix binge".
To those graduating, I say congratulations. You've made it to the end of the tunnel. But do you really want this to end?
After you finish your last exam, give your last presentation, turn in your last essay, the real world begins. Classes beginning at 8 AM get replaced by getting to work by 8 or 8:30. You now have to pay different expenses that would have been included with tuition (have fun budgeting for food and that gym membership). Going out and partying? Hah. See the point I made about 8 AM classes.
Take it from someone who didn't put himself out there as much as he could have. During my four years at the University of Maine, I wished I had done more. My life became class, work, repeat. I bailed on any of the clubs I had joined. I barely went out and partied, never went to sporting events that I wasn't covering for the radio or newspaper.
The reality is that I wish I did more during my four years as a Black Bear.
College is that time you get to figure out who you are without being completely tethered to a strict schedule (except for class, always make your plans around them, since you're paying for them). it's a time to meet people with similar interests, whether they involve sports, music, writing, photography, whatever you can think of.
Honestly, I would trade most of what I have now to get just one more year of college, even if that means dealing with finals.
Yes, I get it. Final exams are a royal pain in the rear. You have to cram weeks of material for certain classes, especially the ones that only have two or three grades for the entire semester. You have to put finishing touches on projects that you have worked on for weeks (or cobble something together at the last minute). You have to make sure you have all your ducks in a row because, before you know it, they become squirrels at a rave.
And to the underclassmen, just remember that your finals are a fair trade to having that chance to make the most of the rest of your time in college. You aren't getting these moments back in the same way. Trust me.