Everyone’s college career comes to an end.
Chances are, by reading this article, you're getting ready for (or already in) your final semester.
Being a senior is a weird time.
For many, you're finally wrapping up 12 years of schooling -- a sensation providing you with a whirlwind of mixed emotions landing somewhere between "I’m glad I’m almost done with schoolwork forever," and "I never want to leave, how can I fail every single class I'm enrolled in?"
It's a really confusing time because it's immensely hard to leave a place where you finally gained independence and could do whatever you choose.
At the same time, you probably have spent many nights wondering how life on the other side of the graduation stage feels.
You aren’t the only one with a mosh of thoughts in your mind as you get ready to close out your collegiate career.
If you're going to be wearing that pivotal cap and gown at the end of this semester, here are five thoughts you’ve probably had entering your last:
1. Where did the time go?
It's the first thought that pops to mind.
You've thought this every time you finished a semester, but this time around (the last time around), it's much more poignant.
Here you were, thinking high school flew by (and looking back on it, that’s pretty surprising, considering it was similar to being locked up in prison).
But now, here you are, in the last semester of your senior year of college, and you're thinking “where the f*ck did college go?”
It seems like only last semester you were knocking on random doors in your dorm, hoping you would find someone to go frat hopping with, or looking for someone to just hang out with.
College goes by in the blink of an eye, and now you wish you could go back to freshman year.
But be honest with yourself; you only want it back if you can find a way to have all the fun and none of the work.
You’re only going to miss the drunken nights you can’t actually seem to remember, or the lazy, hungover, Sundays where you had a bunch of work to actually do, but instead binged on Netflix.
2. What are my plans after school?
If you're one of the lucky few to have actually received a job offer and accepted it before graduation, then skip ahead to point number three because this doesn't apply to you.
For the rest of us, this adds insurmountable stress to our lives.
A study from the Washington Post said four out of five college graduates will leave college without a job, so there's a high chance this applies to you.
The good news? You’re not alone.
The bad news? You’re probably still dealing with those annoying relatives and friends who seem to ask “What are your plans for after graduation?”
You’re also not alone when you freak out on them sometimes (okay, fine, every time) because being asked that question incessantly gets extremely annoying.
Deep down, we're all just stressed as hell.
And if you aren’t already annoyed enough, it doesn’t help when you’re creeping through Facebook or Twitter, and all your “friends” are posting how proud they are for accepting a job, and how much they "can't wait to see what the future has in store!"
Your first thought -- out of pure spite -- is that they're moving to a desolate wasteland and are, therefore, irrelevant.
Your second thought is accompanied by a tad more humility as you think to yourself, "Sh*t, they actually have their lives figured out."
Granted, the majority of those “friends” are probably people you met while drunkenly eating one dollar slices pizza, or kids from high school with whom you haven’t spoken to in years.
Still, it's probably the most annoying thing to think about during your senior year.
Your stress can be put (slightly) at ease, however, by reminding yourself that most of your peers are sitting in the exact same boat as you.
3. Will I still be friends with everyone after college?
It's a big world; there's no telling what will happen to you, your family or your friends in the next five or 10 years.
By now, you’ve established a close group of friends who you either roomed with, or hung out with every day. Now that college is coming to an end, you start to wonder what their futures look like and whether or not you'll fit into those futures.
Honestly, I’m not here to just depress the hell out of you.
If you have a great group of friends, you'll do what it takes to stay that way.
At the same time, however, the future is brightly filled with countless strangers who will soon be your friends. It may be good to stray away from your college friends for a bit.
If you're caught up in staying friends with the group you spent “all that time in college with” (as you just finished reading about how fast college flies by), then you're probably looking at a reunion in your future in the form of bachelor(ette) parties, weddings and random trips to Vegas.
I mean, if you spent four years of your life drinking with a group of people, it only seems fitting your reunion starts right where it left off.
4. Who's willing to house me upon my glorious return?
It's a widely shared opinion that the four (or more) years spent in college are the best years of your life. It's hard to leave a place that has brought so many new experiences and joy to your life.
Just because you completed the work, doesn’t mean you're completely done.
In your post grad years, you'll do whatever it takes to return to your utopian land you call your second home.
Whether you're returning for the homecoming football game, or just to go back and reminisce, you’re going to need a friend who's willing to open up their beer-laden home.
If you have plenty of undergraduate friends, then you're set. But if you don’t, stop sending your resumes to potential employers (except not really), and start sending them out to the potential friend(s) to be.
As late in the game it may seem, it might be the perfect time to start making some new, younger friends.
You don’t want to be that person squatting in the random houses belonging to the "friend of a friend," or even worse: homeless on the street for a weekend because you couldn't find a place to shack up for two days.
It’s not hard to do, but you’re lying to yourself if you haven’t already thought of potential prospects good enough to house you during your glorious return to the collegiate Fountain Of Youth.
5. How am I going to survive in the real world?
By now you've probably formed some ridiculous habits, which include, but are not limited to:
1. Drinking yourself into a grave four or five nights out of the week (making mom and dad proud, kiddo!).
2. Staying up until the crack of dawn every night.
3. Your uncanny ability to be satisfied creeping on someone else’s Facebook profile for hours on end.
Now you’re wondering if it’s okay to keep these “skills,” or how the hell an employer expects you to change.
We’ve all had a solid four years of developing these habits, to the point where we think we're all-time pros with wild, untamable habits.
And now you’re expected to do real people work?
That has got to be some cruel, twisted joke.
We've been circling in the same patterns for four straight years, and now, within a few measly month’s, we're expected to be a “real person?"
This sounds nearly impossible to me.
But hey, if the classmate next to you who's still drunk from the night before, vodka oozing from his pores, can make it to your 10 am class, then you can learn how to crack a smile at 8 am on a Monday in the (future) office.
It just might take a few months of preparation...
Being a senior is a weird time.
As you begin to close the curtains on your collegiate career, remember this:
It's okay to feel like you don't have your sh*t together.
Most of your peers feel exactly the same.
The best way to fix this fear is to trust that your years of collegiate debauchery, antics and borderline insanity prepared you for one hell of a life.