You always hear people talking about their senior year, but what about the semester before your senior year? You still have about a year and a half to go before you graduate, but have you ever realized how hard this semester can be both academically and emotionally?

Let's talk about academics first. You're a junior now. Woah. If you thought college was hard at the beginning, it's a whole different ball game now. Now you have research paper after research paper, have a job, are looking into grad schools, and just a lot of other hard junior type things. Things are winding down and now when people ask you what you are planning to do after college, they're kind of expecting some sort of answer at this point. I miss the days when they would say, "oh you're just a freshman, you still have time to figure it all out!"

But now its getting real. This is your last semester as a junior, the last summer before senior year. What are you going to do this summer? Answers in the past would be to spend time with friends and family and maybe work at your high school job at home. Not anymore. Now you're pressured to be spending your summer interning somewhere in relation to the field you want, you may be job shadowing, or you may start looking into grad schools or jobs after college. The list goes on and on.

So this time is definitely academically challenging, but don't even get me started on emotionally challenging. Just take a look at the senior class. You probably have a lot of friends in your senior class that are graduating. You think to yourself, "how are you going to survive college without them?" They were the people you looked up to, and now you are going to have to be that role model to the younger classes. And what about those people you know in your grade who are graduating a year or a semester early? What are you going to do without them?

One of the hardest parts about senior year is that everything is your last. Your last first day of school, last sorority formal, etc. It's not your last yet, but its about to be. I just can't help but think, "wow, I only have one more of these" when I go to something.

Now, I didn't write this article to give you anxiety or stress you out. So lets talk about the positive things about this last semester as a junior, leading to your senior year. You have the nerves but excitement of life after college. You finally get to go into your dream job or at least further the process of getting there. The thing you have worked on so hard for these past 4 years are finally worth it when you get that job you have always wanted.

Also, think about all the really cool things that schools have for seniors that only you get to look forward to. The seniors are praised and looked up to on campus, and that will be you too in just a few short months.

The point of this article is that your last semester as a junior is underrated. We take for granted all of the great things that we have right now. I challenge all of my fellow juniors in college right now to really embrace all of the great things you get to do as a college student.

Go to that college basketball game, go to that college party, spend long nights studying with your friends to try to bare the pain of studying, just do it all. And be thankful for it all. Soon enough, a lot of these things are going to your last and you're going to say, "man I wish I had done more in college" or say, "man I wish I realized how great these little things were when I still had the chance to go."

It's the semester before your big senior year. What are you going to do?