How to Keep Your Sanity in Your Senior Year

I don’t know about you, but the realization that I have to start figuring out the next chapter of my life is starting to hit me—hard. Do I take a gap year? Do I go straight to graduate school? If I do take a gap year, what am I supposed to do with it? Should I get a job? Or what about going on a big road trip? Except that I’m broke… And I don’t even know what I want to do for graduate school.  These are the questions and thoughts that constantly run through my mind on a loop. I tend to go through the same string of contemplations on a daily basis now, and I can’t be the only person with these worries. I mean, the business school kids have their lives together post-graduation, but they’re anomalies. But for most of us, senior year, although many of the classes are easier, has been one of the most stressful years of college—and we are only two months in.

So how do we deal with these stressors of impending adulthood? I personally make lists and then stress more as it continues to grow and the number of things I accomplish tends to dwindle in comparison. But I digress.

One thing that I have found that has helped keep my sanity is consistency. I have a discipleship group that meets every other week and is a great way for me to escape from school for a little while. I know that every Sunday, I’m going to go to church and have a chapter meeting.  I focus on the constants, the little things that I look forward to every day. These consistencies define my week and my time at college and I try to take advantage of the comforting fact that these events and the people associated with them will be there when I need them.

I rely greatly on my friends. In the chaos that is senior year, I find comfort in knowing that my friends are only a phone call away. Impromptu brunches and wine nights are great for catching up and commiserating. While I know that my friends and I will remain in touch after graduation, this is the last time that most of us will be living in the same city and are able to casually meet up every week. The biggest takeaway I hope you get from this is to take advantage of these moments.

Be spontaneous! The first month of this semester I had my bedtime set at 10:30 (ambitious, I know). One of my friends invited me to go to Topgolf at 11 pm, at which time I normally would have been fast asleep; but I had never been to Topgolf before so I said what the heck and stayed out till one a.m. on a Tuesday. Enjoy the time you have left in Atlanta and with your friends and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. As much as I love my consistency (as mentioned above), it is okay to break the routine every once in a while!

Making lists and prioritizing can be beneficial if you stay utilize the skills properly. Make manageable lists: pro-con lists, to-do lists, bucket lists. These are great for helping you decide what to do with your life (which reduces stress and makes the above suggestions all the more enjoyable) and helps you take advantage of your busy schedule and limited time. Do fun things, don’t waste a Saturday moping about what you should have done, just do it. Yes, senior year is stressful, but that doesn’t mean you have to define it with tenseness. This is the last year of the supposed best time of your life, so make it count.