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The 11 Types of Graduating College Seniors

The school year is winding down, which means seniors must say goodbye to the only life they’ve known for the past few years (no more dining halls?!). There are a ton of mixed feelings when it comes to graduation, from being excited about moving to a new place to dreading making new friends. But many seniors fall under a few common categories depending on their post-graduation plans and their satisfaction with their experiences thus far. Here are a few kinds of collegiettes you’ll encounter as we get closer to commencement!

1. The one who’s going all out.

This party girl is hosting epic ragers every single weekend. She knows this is her last chance to have fun with her friends before they split up to move to various cities across the country, so she’s maximizing what’s left of her college experience. Her Instagrams look like screen captures from a Kesha music video.

She hasn’t eaten breakfast all semester because she can’t wake up early enough, but that’s the price you pay for going to bed when the sun rises. You’ll often see this girl walking barefoot across campus because she lost her shoes the night before. She embraces the YOLO lifestyle, and despite many terrible decisions and lost belongings, she captions all her pictures with #noregrets.

2. The one who has no idea what she’s doing after graduation.

Warning: Do not ask this person about her future plans. You may induce a panic attack (or a physical attack, because you’re the 10th person to ask her that depressing question). She’s the friend you have to walk on eggshells around because any good news on your end about your future could seem like gloating to her.

Any time you ask her to hang out, she turns you down because she’s working on job applications. She looks perpetually scared, with wide eyes and frizzy hair, and she often pulls you into philosophical debates about the meaning of life. You hope this girl figures out her plans soon before she drives herself crazy (or even crazier). She just needs one job offer to end her existential crisis, but until then, you can only offer her vague reassurance, like a fortune cookie.

3. The one who is addicted to academia.

It’s straight to grad school for this brainiac! You don’t know anyone who’s as passionate about her studies as this girl—she actually makes all-nighters seem… fun (what?). You can totally see her returning to the school in 10 years and becoming the most beloved professor on campus.

She has an incredibly upbeat attitude and carries around a backpack that’s at least half her weight. When she’s not helping students at office hours, she hangs out in the library and with the baristas at the 24/7 café on campus—she’s their favorite customer because she literally eats there every day. It’s hard not to like such a positive and motivated person, especially one who has a fun fact up her sleeve whenever there’s a lull in conversation. She’s the one who taught you that you could die from eating a polar bear’s liver because there’s too much vitamin A in it for a human body to handle.  The more you know.

4. The one who’s only going to grad school to avoid the real world.

This person doesn’t actually want to go back to school, but she needs to buy time because she’s too scared to pick an entry-level job (that could very well influence her career path and the rest of her life—no big deal, right?). She is terrified of commitment and is always the last of your friends to decide what she wants at dinner. She has to read the menu at least three times and ask the server to repeat the daily special.

She has nightmares of signing job contracts, so she decided to play it safe for now by pursuing a master’s degree. She’ll have to make a decision once she exhausts her degree options, but until then, she’s going to stay in school as long as possible—because it’s totally reasonable to have five degrees. “I just want to be well-rounded.”

5. The one who couldn’t care less about graduation.

Another chapter, another day. Graduation does not phase this girl, because as far as she’s concerned, moving on to the next stage is as exciting as photosynthesis: It’s a natural part of life that we know is going to happen, so what’s all the fuss about?

This girl already started unfriending her old classmates on Facebook because she doesn’t care whose birthday is today. She opted out of 10-year-reunion emails and hasn’t decided if she wants to pick up her cap and gown or not. You might not even see her on graduation day, because she probably has something better to do.  

6. The one who tried to stay at college forever.

This girl was supposed to graduate long ago, but she’s held the title of “Super Senior” since you were a freshman. It’s finally the end of the road for her, though, and she could not be more devastated.

This girl has effectively avoided real life like nobody’s business. Instead of working or doing an internship, she spent her summers taking classes (and perfecting her flip-cup game), so you really don’t know how she managed to stick around for so long, though failing all her classes is a likely reason.

You see her at every social gathering, and everyone on campus knows her by name. You’re pretty sure she should have majored in “Partying” instead of whatever she’s currently doing—although she did change her career path a million times. You’re not sure where this girl is headed in life, but the only thing scarier than her future prospects are her student loans.

7. The one who can’t wait to blow this Popsicle stand.

Every conversation with this girl somehow ends with how this place was just her safety school. After years of threatening to transfer, she’s in the final stretch and cannot wait until graduation. She’s been counting down the days, ripping pages from her page-a-day calendar with such resentment that you’d think she hates the school for the sake of being a hater. She always complains about how crappy the weather is, how this city doesn’t know how to make “real” bagels and how the public transportation is way worse than what she’s used to back home.

Definitely the biggest Debbie Downer of the senior class, this girl is probably going to make a bonfire out of her old term papers. She doesn’t own any school apparel, but she does own a dozen sweatshirts from her dream college. Come to think of it, have you ever seen her wear anything else?

8. The one who’s trying to finish her college bucket list.

Getting on the tallest roof on campus? Check. Ordering pizza from one of the sketchiest (but most reliable) late-night delivery places? Check. Maximizing her senior year because she has FOMO (fear of missing out)? Check, for sure.

This girl has tickets to every senior event, like sports games, despite never having followed the local teams (but that didn’t stop her from buying a jersey and giant foam finger). She always has an energy drink or coffee in hand because she sleeps only a few hours a night—there’s just too much left for her to see and do! If she attended Hogwarts, you can bet she would somehow get her hands on a Time-Turner.

9. The one who’s doing the bare minimum to graduate.

This girl already has a job lined up, so all she needs is that diploma. She hasn’t been to class in months because attendance isn’t mandatory, and quite honestly, she’s over the whole “learning” thing. She’s the one who hands in a blank quiz because the class allows her to drop her worst one, and she’s already calculated the lowest possible grade she can get to still pass. The entire week is like the weekend to her, so she’s constantly inviting you out for Thirsty Thursdays (and Whiskey Wednesdays, Tequila Tuesdays, etc.).

Everyone wishes they could have her IDGAF attitude because she’s living the second-semester senior dream. You only ever see her in sunglasses, tank tops and flip-flops now that she’s done with interviews. She’s the one you call if you want to bum around or tan on lawn chairs in the middle of campus. Just cross your fingers that you won’t get stuck doing a group project with her.

10. The one you never see.

This girl is super MIA, and you can’t tell if it’s because she’s off at job interviews or just sleeping. You haven’t heard from her since winter break when she wished you a happy New Year. It worries you a little because it seems like she’s fallen off the face of the earth. The only way you know she’s still alive is from hearsay through a friend of a friend—it’s kind of like spotting a yeti.

The worst thing about this type of senior is that she’ll occasionally reply to texts (though it’s usually after a few days), so you still have a sliver of hope that she’ll come back into your life. But usually it’s just a lot of waiting for her to reply or wondering what she’s doing at the moment.

11. The one who always says, “You guys, this is the last time we’ll ever X!”

Every activity is a scrapbook moment for this girl because she’s so emotionally attached to the idea of college and anything remotely related to it. She freaks out over all the mundane things Asher Roth didn’t mention in “I Love College”: “Oh my gosh, I just realized this could be the last time we ever use the bathroom on the second floor of the library! I’m going to save this paper towel as a memento.” She has a collection of ticket stubs, receipts and school newspaper clippings in a box in her room labeled, “Never Forget Senior Year.”

This poor girl has to carry around a pack of tissues at all times because any event could set her off into a crying fit of nostalgia (like the time your iPod started playing Vitamin C’s “Graduation” when it was on shuffle). People don’t invite her places as much anymore because she makes every outing feel like a melodramatic soap opera. Plus, the school shuttle bus drivers get weirded out when she tries to hug them.

No matter what kind of senior you are, we hope you can appreciate the last few weeks of your undergraduate career. You’ve come a long way since freshman year, so celebrate your achievements and pass on your college advice to your younger friends. Congratulations, collegiettes!
 

Connie is a professional and creative writing major at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently obsessed with pole fitness, pumpkin bread, and '80s fashion.
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