The seven stages of grief are often associated with death, or loss of a relationship. However, I’m graduating in May and find myself personally going through the same stages.
But, instead of death and gloominess, I’m associating the stages of grief with what every former college kid has experienced: senioritis.
1. Shock and Denial
Summer has just ended, and you are back on campus, still rocking shorts and a tank top.
The cute baseball player and your former biology partner with the supermodel teeth have happiness written all over their faces. Yet, you still yearn to be poolside and by a beach.
But, life isn’t always a beach, sweetheart; it’s time to take the next step into your education: your senior year.
In nine months, you will be on your own, paving your way through the world.
2. Pain and Guilt
The homework load is piling up and the tan is fading away. The shorts and tops are in boxes now, and boots and thermals are the uniform.
You go out on rare occasions during the week, including Thirsty Thursdays. Now, Netflix binges are your rewards when you hit a wall.
However, your mind starts to wonder while Rick is shooting zombies across your screen in "Walking Dead": Have I lived it up to the fullest, socially, in college? Is it bad I prefer wine and PJs over wearing mini-skirts and drinking Jack and cokes?
3. Anger and Bargaining
Homework is still non-stop, and before you know it, you have midterms in every class. The library is now your home away from home.
Your iPod consists of everything from Mozart and Jay Z to Led Zeppelin and Katy Perry. Energy drinks are overloading your system, and you keep humming Perry’s hit single, “Firework.”
But, the anger strikes and the upbeat tune fades away from your thoughts. Sleep deprivation adds fuel to your frustration.
Graduation is only three months away!
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
Finally, spring break has hit, and you've landed a trip to Cancún with your girlfriends. You've shopped until you dropped and dropped more shots at the bar.
The week flies by, and before you know it, you’re back at school. It was a bittersweet week, and you wished it could have lasted forever.
It seems like, now, everyone’s back on their class schedules, and hanging out together seems near-impossible. This leaves you lonely and depressed, wishing the high of spring break would last forever.
5. The Turning Point
The flow of homework seems to have a “turning point.” It’s not too much, not too little, but just right. You have found the balance of work and play, while managing to, maybe, have time to participate in Sunday Fun Day bar specials.
Things are finally looking up, and spring is here to push you through the last two months of student life in a breeze.
6. Adjustment Period
Just as it is stage five, life has had a turning point in your last semester. You keep up with your homework, but social gatherings diminish.
This is the time for shopping for interview clothes, writing cover letters, updating résumés and, hopefully, landing interviews in the process.
7. Reconstruction and Working Through
Finals are here! It’s the last stretch, and you may be burned out, but there is light at the end of this tunnel.
You have gone through this cycle for the last three years; you can make it for one more. You study until your brain is rattled, while class lecture notes run a marathon in your sleep.
These stages are like a roller coaster, so strap on your seat belt. After the upside-down loop that is college, you finally can walk off this ride into the real world.
College, and all that you've experienced, is the ultimate ride in and of itself.