1. You are 100% allowed to tune out anyone who asks, “So, what’s your plan?” You don’t need to respond to your dad’s friend’s second cousin and talk to him about graduate school applications.
2. You can burn out on social engagements too. Wanting to spend time with everyone is completely understandable, but don’t forget that you need time to yourself. Second-semester seniors tend to pack it in, and end up having every single hour scheduled out. Be sure to dedicate an hour or two to yourself every day.
3. Make time to drink on Wednesdays. Don’t let yourself just stay in your room and panic about job applications until you’re blue in the face.
4. But also make time to complete your coursework. You don’t want your professor’s last impression of you to be as a slacker who didn’t do anything because they blatantly didn’t give a shit. If you really don’t give a shit, try your very best to hide it.
5. People will get jobs, and people will get rejected from their dream schools. You are coming up on four months of extreme highs and lows. Remember that it’s all white noise. Try to not let it make or break you on a daily basis.
6. If you’ve been waiting for three years to tell someone you like them, just fucking say it. The worst that can happen is they say no, and you don’t have to see them after graduation.
7. Things are going to change after your last semester. There won’t be another time in your life when all of your best friends are within a three-mile radius of your door. But try not to let that bring you down. The people you love will stay in your life, because you’ll make the effort. You can’t stay friends with everyone, and the sooner you accept that, the less premature guilt you’ll feel.
8. You don’t need to worry about the fact that you’re not being a social butterfly anymore because you’re spending too much time with your old friends. You’ll get to a point when you’re concerned you didn’t meet enough people. Let me spare you the suspense: you did. You met plenty of people, and the people who still care about you at the end are the ones you want to keep around.
9. Stop sweating the tiny, minute details. You won’t remember what friend dynamic you were worried about a year from now.
10. Your 21st/22nd/23rd birthday is not the last birthday you will ever celebrate. It is not your wedding. It’s not the day you land the job you’ve been waiting for. You are going to have another birthday next year. So if your last college birthday party doesn’t go PERFECTLY, it’s fine. Spend these last four months focusing on the good as much as possible.
11. You’re going to be proud of yourself when you graduate, even if you feel like you’re behind. Even if you feel like you have no way of making money when you graduate. Even if you’re graduating and feel more alone than ever. You will be proud of yourself; you deserve to be.
12. You’re allowed to feel lost. You should always strive to have direction, but you also need the humility to accept that not every second of your life will have direction. Not every moment has to be about doing something for the future, no matter how pressured you’re feeling.
13. Exactly zero jobs that you apply to will look at your grades from senior year. My resume said “Dean’s List” and I guarantee you that those two italicized words didn’t get me a job.
14. Take some time during your last semester to learn to cook things you really love. Be the person who hosts family dinner (but make everyone bring something). Don’t be the person who moves to a city after college and spends $80/week on takeout because you have no idea how to make things that aren’t mac ‘n’ cheese, ramen and cereal.
15. It’s okay to not move to the big city right away. In fact, it will save you a shit ton of money if you don’t. If you have the opportunity to move back in with your parents, take some time to consider that option.
16. You’re going to be nostalgic about not seeing so-and-so because you guys weren’t close enough to keep in touch, but you’re used to seeing them around. Trust me, these people have a way of showing up when you’re half-drunk and visiting LA three years later. You’ll probably see them (depending on the size of your school, and where everyone moves after graduation).
17. You get a six-month grace period on your student loans after graduation.
18. Take care of your health. Nothing sets you back from exams, studying, or going out to the bar on the night they have a beer-and-shot special quite like a nasty cold. When you think you need to sleep, trust that instinct.
19. Your success at the end of this semester will not be measured by whether or not you landed your dream job. It will be based off bringing in money however you’re able to. It will be measured by how many friends felt like they could count on you. It will be measured by the classes, activities, and organizations (even if it was a pot smoking organization that munched together at 2 AM on Tuesdays) you cared about.
20. Your cap and gown won’t fit properly. You’ll get over it. If you’re a girl, wear wedges or flats with your cap and gown, not stilettos.
21. Talk to your professors. You might as well use every resource you have because this is the last semester you’re paying for them to help you out. Ask questions, and stay fresh in their mind so that they’ll be willing to connect you with someone, or write you a recommendation.
22. You don’t have to meet the love of your life in college. You can. In fact, you might. And even if it hasn’t happened yet, you could end up falling for someone you went to school with years after graduation. But it’s not a requirement that you have to graduate with a diploma and a potential spouse.