As A Senior In College, There Is Still An Adjustment Period

As A Senior In College, There Is Still An Adjustment Period

Just because I know my way around doesn't mean it's all glitter and rainbows.

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Three measly years ago, I came to Charlottesville knowing no one and being more than slightly terrified. I now know people, and I can find my way around grounds and a good portion of the city.

However, the beginning of the new school year has still brought about some anxieties. Some of these anxieties are fourth-year specific while others can affect anyone and everyone.

Firstly, coming back to Charlottesville and being met by the plethora of people between the ages of 18 and 22 is always a startling adjustment. Especially evident at larger schools, this is the only time in our lives where we are almost constantly surrounded by people the same age as us. While that can be cool in a lot of ways, it's also overwhelming. Being in the center of a college town, the monotony of stress and hormones that comes with being college-aged isn't dampened by any other age range, leaving us to run rampant and suffocate other valuable life perspectives.

The competitive environment is also something that takes some time to get used to. Particularly evident fourth year, people are always taking charge of their lives and propelling their careers forward even before earning their degrees. The mixture of drive and anxiety is palpable and I easily find myself stressed out over things that are far in the future. Learning that each of us is on our own paths to success is something that is crucial to accept, and the sooner you do it, the better.

By now I have my friend group here at school; however, even those dynamics take time to reform and adjust to the new school year. Between different schedules and new living arrangements, it takes time to figure out when people can hang out and which friends you'll inevitably be around more than others. This can be stressful both in scheduling and also emotionally as you want to hang out with everyone, but sometimes your schedule just doesn't allow it as much as you'd like.

A new semester comes with a new schedule. Adjusting to odd time gaps and finding the best walking routes takes a week or two to settle, and locking down set times for studying and extracurriculars can take even longer.

While there's something refreshing about starting new classes, it can also be a source of anxiety. Between the inevitable major classes that have horrid reviews on Course Forum and the non-major classes that make you step out of your comfort zone, you'll be starting 4-5 new courses that will require you to use your brain in a way that you probably didn't over the summer.

On top of all that, seniors get the added anxieties of life after the school year ends. Some students know what lies ahead, but a lot still don't. No matter if you know or you don't, there will be the constant question of "What are you doing after graduation?" that you'll have to get used to. Whether literal or sarcastic, it's time to prepare our answers.

At the end of the day, no matter if it's your first year of college or your last, the beginning of the year is never 100% smooth. Schedules are off-kilter, emotions are running high, and life is simply changing. Eventually, this will become the new normal... but, for now, allow yourself the few weeks it takes to become settled. A new school year worth of memories is awaiting you.


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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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