As autumn settles in, classes take on that familiar air of academic rigor. Caffeine tolerances spike through the roof toward unprecedented levels so much so that no line is too long to wait for a grande medium roast drip with room.
Here are some dead giveaways that you're in your final undergrad year:
You live for the pregame because the "game" is overrated.
The first few years of college were ignorantly blissful; we’d look upon a night and its three event invitations with optimism. (Even that one event that made no sense, as it had a 15-person invite list with one person we half-knew from that one class a millennia ago.)
Nowadays, our weathered, wise souls confidently presume there’s just no way the party will happen if we carry on with this pregame the way pregames were intended to be done.
By this point, I’ve realized those moments spent pregaming with folks I actually know, listening/sing-yelling to songs we actually like and talking about things relevant to our lives are the golden moments.
Going out for a night of BYOB-house-party hopping more often than not amounts to wishing we were at home, getting rowdy in good company with our own beds a short stumble away.
Freshmen this year are really, really ridiculously good-looking.
When did every younger grade level start looking like supermodels off the Urban Outfitters ad I saw that one time?
I’ll be trudging my way to class first thing in the morning, still only half a human because I've only had half a cup of coffee, and everyone’s looking gorgeous.
(Okay, well, almost everyone — sorry, homeless guy, posted up on that one bench for the last 48 hours). Maybe I can attribute this to the fact that most every moment is captured on a social media app, so we have to look good constantly.
Senioritis on steroids.
Some courses we take our last year as undergrads are indeed infinitely significant — the final ticket to the show that lies in wait outside the confines of a university and its curriculum.
Other classes, well, they’re just kitchen-clean-up credits, completely irrelevant to our focuses of study.
Still, they're necessary to fulfill basic degree requirements.
Suffering through these courses of glaring irrelevancy is even worse when we can hear the real world beckoning just outside the classroom door, over the mumbled verse of a professor older than the dinosaurs about which he teaches.
You take the long way to class.
The first few years of undergrad was a cycle of waiting until the day classes started to realize you should probably figure out where they are.
As my last year on campus unfolds, I’m still not interested in figuring out where classes are until it’s too late for me to have any shot at showing up on time.
But now, I'm purposely taking the long way to get there. To my undergrads running around with campus maps and "I’m lost, it’s not chill" written all over your faces, stop what you’re doing.
Running is hard enough as it is without factoring in a backpack. Is there anything more unnatural than trying to move at more than a walking pace with a backpack on? Nope.
You somehow watch more Netflix now.
Binge-watching TV shows on Netflix is an alternate form of stress-eating for me. When life throws a bunch of responsibilities and/or deadlines my way, I get an itch to get my fix of the flicks.
Having one year left as an undergrad means we need to consider the reality that LinkedIn, résumés and cover letters actually matter, a lot.
We have to devote time outside the classroom to figuring out why a potential employer will consider granting us interviews and then prepare enough to not utterly muck things up.
Without the ease and accessibility of Netflix in those moments of overwhelmingly dire importance, I’m pretty sure I’d have gray hair by now; I’d also probably have finally finished updating my résumé.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It