This year has definitely been a long one. Full of up and downs, excitment and stress, but we are finally two weeks away from finishing this unusual, COVID-influenced year. Whether you have been taking class socially distant and in-person or remotely on Zoom, you deserve to congradulate yourself on making it through this year.
Although we still have to stay on the grind as finish our classes and start finals, we have been reflecting on the things we have learned and want to share with those coming behind us. Here’s the advice we want to give to the grade behind us:
- Listen to your intuition and say yes
If there is one thing that I have learned from this year (and the one before in all honesty), it’s that when you have even a small inkling of what you want, go for it. Do not let fear of judgement or failure stop you from pursuing what you want. Whether this is saying yes to an amazing internship opportunity across the country, telling someone you like them, or taking a day off for self-care, listen to your heart as Roxette sings. There have been regrets over my four years at Conn that I still think about when my head hits the pillow. So, for current juniors and rising seniors, do not let that little voice in your head hold you back from a possibility that could change your future trajectory. Next year will be your last two semesters at Connecticut College, and there is no reason you shouldn’t take every opportunity (within reason) to make the most of it. Whatever that may mean for you.
– Elizabeth Berry ‘21
- This might sound obvious, but… take it easy senior year
All throughout college, I’ve made it a point to keep busy and overextend myself. I’d seen seniors in the grade ahead of me slack off, take less responsibility in their extracurriculars, or take fewer classes once they’d finished their majors. As a junior, I told myself that wouldn’t be me and that I wanted to end my college career on a high note. So, I took more classes than I needed to (five in the fall and four in the spring, when I only needed to take four and three, respectively), continued assuming executive board roles in clubs, and even returned part-time to my summer internship this semester. And instead of feeling productive or accomplished, I’m feeling burnt out and discouraged that all of that work has not landed me a job post-graduation. So, my advice to juniors would be to pare down and be intentional about what you’re still involved in senior year, but stay focused and committed to those fewer, more meaningful involvements. You will still feel productive and accomplished while minimizing senioritis and burnout.
– Samantha Barth ‘21
- What Comes First: Well-Being or Success?
“What are you doing for the summer?” “Have you looked at the course schedule for next semester?” “What are you doing after college?”
As students, we are constantly bombarded with questions about our education, career, and future. We are pressured into thinking that education and success should be our number one priority, and, for many, it is the number one priority. But should it be the first one? From a young age, we are taught the basics: sleep for at least eight hours, eat broccoli and carrots, and spend some time with nature and people. These are indeed fundamental, but there are other factors that are equally as essential. My advice to students or to the class behind me is this: do not forget about your mental health and physical health. I do not mean for you to start watching a Yoga tutorial on YouTube or to run in the Arbo for an hour. Well-being can look different for everyone, but I recommend to 1) pay attention to your thought patterns and question them. Have a conversation with yourself. Why are you thinking this way? Catch yourself criticizing others. Is someone continuously apologizing to you for something they did but take no action whatsoever to change or demonstrate that they are truly sorry? Apply it to yourself and your personal growth. Are you doing the same thing but in a different context or version such as wanting a better grade but not studying? 2) Listen to your body. Is your stomach truly craving that pizza or is it simply the thought of the taste and the temporary happiness that it will bring? What does your body really need? What do you really need?
– Kassandra Olmedo ‘23
Remember to make the most of your college years. They won’t last forever.