An Open Letter To My Fellow Senior Class

An Open Letter To My Fellow Senior Class

Don't just count down the time until graduation—make the time count.

Thirty-two days. That's all that stands between us and graduation. Throughout our undergraduate careers, the notion of graduation and the "real world" has always been something to strive toward. However, now that the time is so near, I cannot help but reflect on the past four years at NC State, and apprehensively anticipate leaving the place that I consider my home.

Four years is a long time. I have read more textbooks than I ever thought possible, mastered the art of procrastination, learned to talk my way out of any situation, and written so many papers that I will probably permanently have tendonitis. However, those four years have flown by, and they have been some of the best years of my life. I now see why alumni always advise us to enjoy our college years—there's really nothing quite like the university experience.

I can still remember my very first day freshman year. I can feel the nervous anticipation, the butterflies in my stomach as I moved into my dorm, met my hallmates and walked to my first college class. I was awe-struck at the size of the campus and the large number of students who attended each day. Four years later, I am still just as amazed at the beauty and innovation present at this school.

Throughout my time here, I have seen NC State grow at an unprecedented rate. Our class is the one who has seen and experienced both the old Talley (RIP Taco Bell) as well as the new, refurbished version! Hunt library is another great example of how we got to watch our campus expand to what it is now. As we round out our last few weeks here, it is important to remember these thoughts and feelings we had regarding our college career those years ago, and recognize the growth and experiences we have had along this journey.

These last few weeks will fly by. Before you know it, it will be time to don our caps and gowns and commemorate the accomplishment of receiving a university degree. It's going to be a whirlwind of emotions, so make sure to enjoy each moment while you can. Although the workload is intense, allow yourself to spend time with your friends and participate in campus events—the next vacation we get from school is going to be a permanent one.

Walk the long way to class and soak in the atmosphere around campus. Visit old professors and thank them for making your time at this institution a valuable one. The notion of no more classes, papers, and exams is a tantalizing one; however, attempt to remain present and enjoy every last second of time you have left. After this semester ends, your undergraduate career ends forever.

I'm going to miss so much. Tailgating before football games, cheering at basketball games, sorority functions, concerts, even the vibe of Hillsborough street—these are all aspects of our school that have been assimilated as part of my identity. When someone asks me to tell them about myself, the first thing I say is "I'm a student at NC State." It's frightening and upsetting and stressful to have something that is such a deeply ingrained part of my identity disappear in just a few short weeks. That's exactly why we have to make each last day count.

If there are things you have been meaning to do at your school before graduating, get them done! Visit the cool coffee shop you've been meaning to check out, go jump in lake Raleigh, or watch the sunset from the top deck of Hunt library. Do it all while you still have the chance. Go out, have a great time, and live these last weeks to the fullest. Or choose to stay in, and spend quality time with friends you made throughout the years that have now become family.

Reminisce. Look back at each of your successes, struggles, and allow yourself to be nostalgic. Four years of college has allowed you to be comfortable with your surroundings and lifestyle, and it's terrifying to think about that all changing so quickly. Recognize that fear, and know that it too will dissipate.

I hope that your college journey has been everything you wished for, and so much more. I hope you learned lessons that have taught you who you are, and the person you want to be in this world. I hope you go out in the world, successful and confident, but never forget the experiences and memories that unite us all into a singular Wolfpack. We are all capable, intelligent adults who are ready to go forge our own paths in a world that is ours for the taking.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.


Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!


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