I didn’t believe people when they told me that college would be the best years of my life. I had a great high school experience, and as a high schooler terrified of going off to college -- away from my friends and in an unfamiliar environment where everything is bigger and more challenging -- I couldn’t imagine college ever being better than high school was. I was certain that I would miss my friends, my band, my choir, my theatre department (for in my mind, of course, these were all partially “mine”), and I was correct. But I had no way of knowing at the time that college would be so much better.
True, it did prove to be bigger and more challenging. With those came greater experiences, though. The music and theatre departments are on a whole new level from what I experienced in high school. The professors challenge me and make me think in ways I never have before. And my friends are people who live with me, laugh with me, suffer alongside me and make memories every single day through shared triumphs and downfalls.
And now, the end is near. Granted, I’m on a five-year track, so I’ll have another year after this one. “Senior year” still feels like a death sentence, though, even despite that extra time to enjoy college.
Senior year means the end of that childhood I’ve so desperately tried to hold onto for the last three years. I’m twenty-one years old now. That feels old to me, especially (and oddly enough) since I don’t like alcohol. I suppose the emphasis here is on senior. Being a junior is a thing of the past.
Senior year means seminar classes. These are the big, end-of-program classes that come at the conclusion of whatever major one may be pursuing. For me, that means taking English Seminar in the spring with the head of the English department. Welcome to the world of extremely long research papers, papers the size of which I’d be perfectly content never having to write.
Senior year means a year of “lasts.” For final year college students, this means last sporting events, last concerts, last shows, last art showcases, last student body campaigns, last roommates, last…well, you name it. It’s sad, thinking about the things I’ll never get to do again once college is over.
Senior year means preparing for adulthood. One has to start looking for jobs and a place to live. Some people might be planning weddings. Others might decide to adopt a pet. Seniors have to start figuring out their lives, and that’s daunting.
Perhaps most of all, though, senior year means not seeing friends anymore after graduation. These people with whom I’ve spent the last one, two or three years… we will all be going our separate ways. Even I feel this one, since most of my college classmates will be graduating. Will I ever see them again? I have no way of knowing. That makes me sadder than anything else. I’ll miss these people. God willing, I will get to see them again. But we’ll still be parted, and that will probably be difficult for me on some level.
I suppose I can still talk to them, though. After all, with phones and Facebook and whatever else, keeping in touch is easy, right? I guess I’ll find out after this year.
Hello, senior year. I promise I’ll cherish you forever. Now let’s have an awesome time.