My Last Year of College

My Last Year of College

Why not make the best of it?
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As I enter my last year of college, I have been thinking a lot about all the things I want to do before I graduate. When you start college it seems like you have all the time in the world. Then one day you wake up and realize that you only have two semesters left, and you think to yourself “where did the time go?”

Sure you can call me cliché if you want; I’m fully aware of the cliché nature of this article. Just because something is cliché doesn’t make it any less true. That feeling of nostalgia comes around any time a chapter of your life is ending. You start to think about all of the things you’ve done and the things you wanted to do. I want to make my last two semesters of college the best semesters of college. I want to do all of the things I have always told myself I have always wanted to do but have yet to.

When I went to college I was so excited to explore a new city. Coming from the suburbs where everything is a chain unless you want to drive 40 minutes downtown, I was very excited to explore all the new restaurants, parks, entertainment options, etc. Yet here I am, a year away from graduation and I’ve barely made a dent into all the exciting things my city has to offer.

Of course I want to finish college strong academically, but I also want to spend more time enjoying my social life. I’m never going to have this much free time again in my life, so I might as well put it to good use. I don’t want to spend my last year totally stressed out with schoolwork and forget to have fun, something that I tend to do a lot.

Along with not totally stressing myself out, I also want to make a more conscious effort to step outside of my comfort zone. So many nights I have convinced myself it is okay to stay in because I’m exhausted from school and/or work. Instead of justifying my staying in, I’d rather force myself to go out (and I don’t mean partying, I literally mean going out). While spending a night in watching Netflix and relaxing is much needed sometimes, it’s just as necessary to go out and do something new.

There are so many things that I want to accomplish, but really these are the most important. Making the best out of the time I have left is the most important thing to me. Whether you’re the type of person that can’t wait for graduation or the type of person that never wants to leave college, you might as well make the best of your time because you can’t change it.

Cover Image Credit: Ryan Lucker

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.
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As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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I'm A 'Super Senior' And Ultimately, I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

Taking more than four years to finish college is actually more common than you think...

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Ever since the beginning of high school, I had my academic future planned out. I was going to be a pre-med student in college, graduate with my bachelor's degree within four years, then move onto graduate school. Once I started taking my pre-med classes, I started struggling quite a bit.

I was retaking certain classes not only to get a better grade but to also understand the material more. After retaking multiple courses, I started to fall behind in the number of credit hours necessary to keep the proper class status. At that point, I knew I wasn't going to be able to graduate in four years and would eventually become a "super senior."

The term "super senior" refers to a student who will be taking longer than the traditional four years to complete their undergraduate studies. People can become a super senior for a variety of reasons.

Some people may not be able to attend school full time. Others may double major or be in a program that takes longer than four years to complete. There are also instances where students develop different interests and change their major.

As I said, I had never planned on being a super senior, so when it became my reality, I felt defeated. Being a super senior made me feel like I was failing at college. During my fourth year of school, I witnessed many of my friends since freshman year filling out their graduation paperwork, applying to graduate programs, getting internships and co-ops, or looking for their first adult job. While I was happy for their success, it was hard watching my friends graduate without me.

Another unpleasant aspect of being a super senior is having to tell people you are one. I've lost count on the number of times friends and family have assumed I would be graduating and asked me what my plans were for the next year, and I had to awkwardly respond that I would still be finishing up classes for my degree.

As much as I didn't want to become a super senior, the fact was that I became one. However, I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate studies and I must say that I am truly thankful that I got to spend that extra year in college.

Having the additional time in college gave me the opportunity to realize what my true calling was. I was able to take classes that I would have never taken on my pre-med pathway and I discovered that social science subjects like psychology and social work are actually my passion.

Once I realized I was in the wrong major and started taking classes that interested me, I actually started to look forward to going to class every day. Not only did I like my classes, but my grades improved immensely.

Another bonus to being a super senior has been the new relationships that have developed. Once all of my college friends graduated and moved away, I tried to find other people to spend my time with. I am so thankful for all of the new friendships I have made because of being a super senior. Had I not been in school that extra year, odds are good I would have never met them!

All in all, becoming a super senior was not part of my initial plan, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I was able to learn more about myself and what my passions are, as well as meet some amazing new people along the way.

In the end, it doesn't matter how long it takes for you to get that degree, all that matters is that you earned it!

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