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Afterthoughts Of A Senior

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

College almost feels like an intermission in life. Like someone pressed pause, and we’re gazing at life through a looking glass. It’s easy to take that for granted the first few years. Freshmen are ultimately excited to move out of their parents’ house, with joy and curiosity making that first year a hazy delight. Honestly, it feels like my freshman year was last week, like the last three years at GCU have all morphed into one memory. Somehow I find myself graduating this spring, one blink later, and all the pressures and expectations I knew would eventually come to fruition all furiously wait, a harsh red line I’ll have to cross in just a few months. 

The afterthoughts of a senior: An analysis, observation, warning and the hard truths.

Becoming a “Hometown friend”

I was on FaceTime with one of my friends the other day. His friend came into the room, and he introduced me as his “hometown friend.” The words felt like bricks, weighted and ugly, sinking down to my belly. “Hometown friend.” When did I become a hometown friend? He was one of my best friends; we spent summers on the lakeside, and he would push me from jumping points and pull me atop roofs all in the same day. He’s one of the people who dropped me off at the airport when I left for college, one of the people I found myself crying over for the entirety of that day. And like I’ve said, the day I left for college feels like it could’ve been last week, and all of those memories feel so close. But somehow, it’s been nearly four years since I left for college. We both made new friends, created new lives, found new support systems, and allotted ourselves new families. Somewhere along the line I became a “hometown friend,” but maybe that’s okay.

I used to always fear that term. I think, maybe, I’ve reached the point where the terms I always loathed and feared ring true, and I’ve decided that I should no longer be afraid of them. Yes, it’s true, we’re no longer each other’s person. Maybe, in one way or another, we replaced each other. But we got each other through high school, through childhood. We’re always going to hold an appreciation for each other and an understanding for each other that not a lot of other people will know. And maybe I have become a “hometown friend,” but that phrase doesn’t mean I’m mere or insignificant to them at all. I am instead a vital piece of home, and no one could ever replace that.

People (And Plans) Change

From freshman year to now, I have an entirely different circle of friends. It’s easy to latch on to people easily available to you during the first year of college. It’s even easier to accept those people as your best friends, to plan housing for sophomore year together, and to fully believe that those people will be with you for the rest of college. More often than you would think, freshman friend groups break up. As you get further into college, you begin to find like-minded students in classes, and fully immerse yourself in clubs or activities with people of common interests. You’ll find your people, and it’s perfectly okay if all the “plans” you made don’t happen with the people you pictured, or if you’ve not reached all the goals you set for yourself.

Don’t base Your future on other people

There’s this thing about boyfriends.

Some of your friends will start dating, and priorities quickly change when this happens. As one would think, dating in college is usually taken a lot more seriously than dating in high school. People are looking for long-term relationships, maybe even marriage. Due to the increased pressure of getting a boyfriend in college, you’ll find that boyfriends can sometimes take your friends away from you. Of course, there should be a balance between a dating life and social life. But oftentimes, friends can be forgotten while enthralled in a fresh love.

At GCU, it felt like everyone around me got into relationships out of nowhere. Sometime between my sophomore and junior year, couples formed, and everywhere I looked, people were holding hands, grossly professing their loyalties to all of us single folk. As GCU is a Christian University, the ring-by-spring pressure only builds as you reach senior year. I watched friends become desperate to find husbands before graduation, scared that in the real world, dating as a Christian could only get harder. The reality is, you might not date anyone at GCU, and that’s perfectly okay. You’re going to watch friends fall in love, prioritize their partners, and see a lot of the “I just graduated college and got engaged” Instagram posts. My advice: don’t forget about your passions, keep pursuing your career goals, and don’t be afraid to rock it solo. Don’t let what everyone else is doing slow you down, and learn that you’re going to have to prioritize your future.

But What do we do now?

The future, adulthood, looms in the near distance, a blinking light, a red line, a whole new world to step into. If you were wondering what senior year feels like, so far, it almost feels like graduating from high school all over again. Leaving my hometown and best friends came with a lot of pain, because I knew I had no intentions of ever moving back, and all those people I left would simply remain, and eventually, I would become a memory. 

This year has become especially terrifying. After graduation, I’ll be leaving all the people I’ve met here. I’m scared, terrified that the cycle is going to run all over again. That my best friends here will move on, create new circles, get boyfriends and girlfriends, and slowly, we will become a memory. I’m scared that I’ll become “my roommate from college” or “my best friend from college.” And maybe that’s okay, maybe things will work out the way they’re supposed to, and maybe not everyone will let distance separate the friendships we’ve built. But the reality is, we’re graduating, and it’s only natural for people to move, scattering across the country.

Lastly, I’m scared that I haven’t done enough. That my degree won’t be enough to find my dream job. I think a lot of people are scared to graduate college. The pressure has been building to graduation. We’ve been working our entire lives for this degree, and now that we have it, what do we do?

Despite my fears, I’m confident in moving to LA to pursue my passion, to go to a place with more job opportunities for my desired industry. I won’t let fear stop me, and step by step, (internship by internship if I have to), I’ll pursue my dreams.

HI! My name is Brenna Moreno and I'm pursuing a Communications major with a minor in Professional Writing! I love reading, my favorites being romance, fantasy, fiction, and poetry!! Passionate about writing and the world around us.