As I near the end of my college career, I'm becoming nostalgic for my college days, and I haven't even graduated yet. I think it's natural that when you're about to leave the place in which you've spent the last three to five years of your life, you begin to realize you may have taken being a college student for granted. You realize college was basically just a four-year free pass from the real world.
Hopefully, you're ready to enter the “adult” world now that it's within reach, but in your heart, you're still just a college kid. After four years of midterms, house parties, roommates, day drinking and red Solo cups, I feel like I've finally figured out certain things about college I didn't know before.
Your last semester of senior year may have flown by, but you can be certain you've learned a few things along the way.
Here are four things every senior has undoubtedly learned before it's time to don the cap and gown:
1. I can no longer drink like I used to.
When I was a freshman, I could slam six shots of Burnett's and rage at house parties until 2 am. Now that I'm a senior, I go to a bar and can barely take a shot before I feel like it's time to call it a night. Part of me blames it on the day-long hangovers that accompany this new age, and part of me knows it's all just a symptom of growing up.
Sure, I'd like my tolerance to be what it was when I was 18 again, but there is something to be said for getting into your warm bed at 11:48 pm, knowing you'll be able to function for the full day ahead of you.
2. I now know the value of a good landlord.
When I was first getting a house as a sophomore, I heard horror stories about bad landlords. But the truth was, I wasn't going to sacrifice renting a super cute house in a great location just because it was managed by an assh*le. Well, after three years of living with sh*tty college rental companies, I can say for a fact there is something to be said about having a good landlord.
You see, a good landlord won't totally f*ck you when it comes to move-in dates. A good landlord will understand if the rent comes in a day late. A good landlord won't move your patio furniture in order to cut down a big, beautiful tree, and then never put the furniture back.
No, a good landlord communicates with you. A good landlord fixes your window when it won't lock and has your back in all matters concerning the place you call home. And that, my friends, is something to cherish.
3. My procrastination habit will never change.
Most college kids are pros at finishing up assignments at the last minute. Yes, it's true we all get a syllabus at the start of the semester, and we know exactly when all of our assignments are due. But, that doesn't stop us from starting the assignment right before the due date.
Throughout college, I have continuously told myself I would stop procrastinating and start working on my assignments weeks in advance. Well, I am about to graduate, and I still haven't turned in an assignment more than a couple of hours before the due date.
At this point, I've just accepted this fact of life: The pressure of a deadline makes you work harder.
4. I think I'm ready.
As scary as graduating is, I know that by this point, I'm ready for it. Yes, I don't exactly know what I am going to do afterwards, let alone where I am going to live. But, I do know I will figure it out. For the last four years, I've been learning how to be on my own. Even though the routine of going to school, going to work and coming home to roommates has become so comfortable, I also know I'm ready for the next step.
Maybe graduating means taking some time off and exploring the world. Maybe it means gearing up and getting a job. Maybe it means just doing nothing for a little while. Whatever graduating means to you, hopefully you're ready to embrace it.
Because when it comes down to it, there's no looking back. Even though the years flew by, as college students, we did what we came to do. We studied hard, and we partied harder. We made great friends and met great loves. We sang, cried and danced. And after all that hard work, we're ready for our diplomas.
So, even though graduating is scary, it's time to accept that graduation is just something we signed up for. So, we will spend these last few weeks as the college students we still are, and we will look forward to the day when we put on that cap and gown. And when we do, we'll know we learned everything we were meant to.