So here’s the deal everybody: your last summer break is going to come and go, and before you know it you’ll be moving into your new dorm rooms and starting off senior year. It will be a bittersweet feeling. You’ll be amazed that you only have two semesters left and you’ll feel far too young to actually be a senior, and without a doubt, your first few weeks as a senior will take some adjusting.
You will see fewer familiar faces while you walk through campus. Your routines will change and your usual lunch table may have a few less people. You will feel completely out of place at a party surrounded by freshmen, and you’ll comment about how incredibly young they all look. You will quickly realize just how many of your favorite people graduated, and you’ll wonder if you will ever adjust to these changes.
You will adjust, and before you know it, you will form new routines and become accustomed to being outnumbered by random, overly-inebriated freshmen on the weekends. You’ll miss your postgrad friends, but you will come to cherish the memories you shared with them even more. You will keep in contact with your closest friends even if they are hundreds of miles away, and surprise visits and alumni weekend will become so much more important to you.
So as you cruise back to school, drive past security, and pull onto campus for the very first time senior year, promise yourself that you will make the most of the next nine months. Speaking as a recent alum, here are a few tips I’ve complied through my many experiences in order to guarantee you have the most fantastic senior year possible.
1. Stop giving a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about you
This is relevant during any point in life, but it is especially important at this time. Speak up, burn bridges, and tell off the girl that has pissed you off for the past three years. After college, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see these people again, especially the peasants you would never want to see again.
2. Make a ‘Senior Year Bucketlist’
Everything ranging from that crazy thing you always wanted to do but never had the guts to, to exploring a nearby city. In all honesty, you’ll probably only complete half of the nonsense you write down, but it’s good to set goals and see what happens. I am also certain you will do a few things, wild or not, that you never imagined to write down.
3. Decide what you want
Whether that is your dream job, graduate school or the next place you want to reside. Figuring this out early will make life just a wee bit less stressful in the coming months. The journey to getting what you want is sometimes a long and windy road, but having direction will bring about an air of confidence.
4. Let go of what you no longer need
As hard as it may be— if the shoe no longer fits, do away with it. I can’t say this will be a short process, but it will be worth it in the end. Be honest with yourself and keep reminding yourself of what you need. If you haven’t picked up on it yet— I’m talking about the unnecessary significant other in your life. Whether you two are toxic together, he’s unmotivated, or you just don’t see it going long-term, senior year is no time to prolong the inevitable demise of your relationship. Do yourself a favor with this one.
5. Even if it will drain your bank account: Do It
I admit, definitely not the most mature of decisions, but your days of being incredibly careless and irresponsible are numbered. So never restrain yourself from doing whatever you really want to do just because your eyes will burn the next day when you check your available balance. Go on that weekend trip, treat yourself to something really tasty, go to that bar you’ve heard so much about, just DO IT!
6. Break some rules
Someone suggested jumping in the campus pool after hours? Heck yes. Don’t second guess it because, once again, there is a level of maturity you should try to obtain once you cross the graduation stage. Getting a write up from a campus security officer won’t land you any kind of record in the real world. On the other hand, a citation or arrest from the actual police just might…
7. Say yes more than you say no
Graduating college isn’t the end of your life, but you might not get the chance to do certain things anymore. So when someone invites you on a road trip and you have a big test to study for, go anyway. And when you drive past a strip club on Spring Break, go in. You won’t regret it and you’ll make some great memories.
8. Staying in on a weekend night isn’t the end of the world
You’re getting older, and let’s face it, sometimes your body doesn’t handle alcohol and its effects the next day like when you were in your prime. Plus, you have things like job applications to worry about. So if you actually want to be productive on a Sunday afternoon without having to suffer through a throbbing hangover, have a chill night. Your friends might try to convince you that you’ll regret it, but you won’t.
9. As hard as it is, meet new people
It’s always a good time to meet new people. You will be surprised by some of the really amazing people you can meet even in your last year. So don’t be stuck in your ways— go somewhere different on the weekend, volunteer for something new, and see what happens. I have created truly lifelong friendships with people who were seniors when I met them, and vice versa.
10. Do whatever you want
It’s all about YOCO-ing (you only college once) these next nine months. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.