It’s the start of the second semester and with that comes the emergence of a certain type of creature. This bazaar creature is not always the most rational and depending on certain conditions should only be approached with extreme caution. Please also be aware that you should only attempt contact with said creature if you can identify what variety that creature is. Oh, you don't know what the creature is yet? Well, don't worry, I will be telling you what signs to look for, as well as the different varieties that tend to pop up around this time of year across college campus all over the US and maybe even parts of the world. Still don't know what creature I'm referring to? Why, it's the strange and terrible second semester senior.

While not the most dangerous of creatures, the SSS can in fact be a bit unstable depending on the type of senior you're dealing with. This does not mean you should necessarily stay away from them, but rather you should recognize but the stress of being an "adult" as well as the preparations for graduation have made the senior unstable. In my experience, you generally come across four different types of second semester seniors and it is my hope that by sharing this knowledge with you that you will know what to do whenever you come into contact with these strange creatures.

Now, there are four main types of SSS that you will need to look out for. The first is the hysterical senior. This senior is one that is in middle of something close to a mental breakdown. Other types may have had this breakdown in the previous semester but this senior suffers their breakdown during this particular period of time. It is because of this instability that we want to take it easy around them. It is hard to gauge this particular senior’s mood because at the drop of a hat they could go from angry to depressed when thinking about graduation. CAUTION: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ONE SHOULD PROBABLY BE CARRYING TISSUES IF INTENDING TO APPROACH.

The second type of senior is one that is in a state of denial. With this type of senior it is important to note that the topic of graduation is strictly off-limits. This senior exists in a happy state of mine and is completely blocked off almost all thoughts of what comes after graduation. Therefore, asking that senior what they would like to do after graduation may result in one of two reactions. The first reaction involves that senior questioning as to what the person referring to in the seemingly baffled state of mind. If this side effect is exhibited, please abandon this thread of conversation and change the topic. The second side effect may be somewhat violent lashing out at the mention of life after graduation. Please note that if the side effect occurs it would be in your best interest to run.

The third type of senior is the most stable that will be mentioned in this list. While they are uncertain as to what they really want to do with their life, they are generally dealing with the thought of graduation pretty well. They have some things planned even if those plans are entirely temporary, but still be aware that the mention of graduation may cause the senior to go into quiet contemplation.

The last type of senior is the one that the previous three types of seniors have a negative reaction too. This type of senior is one who generally has their life planned out immediately after graduation. They are somewhat happy and while they do possesses some uncertainties about life after college they generally don't let these uncertainties influence them significantly in their daily lives. Warning: please note that the previously mentioned three groups of seniors, while being accepting of this fourth type, can have somewhat exaggerated reactions to this type of senior. If you are not one of the seniors in any of these aforementioned categories, it is best that you take note of the situation and let the seniors work it out for themselves.

One last important piece of advice when dealing with second semester seniors. Do not completely avoid them if they act somewhat quirky in your presence because this can be detrimental. The second semester of senior year is one of the most important times of transition in a person’s life because in this semester you're constantly faced with the question of what to do after college. It can be a seriously scary time while at the same time filled with so much excitement. Just keep in mind that eventually most of us will probably be second semester seniors and you'll be going through the same things once it's your turn.