5 Things People Don't Tell You About Senior Year

The time is nearing with only two more months until graduation. To say it’s been a ride is an understatement. Over the past several months I have been talking with my friends and we’ve come to several conclusions about what it’s like to be a senior. One of them being: there are so many things about senior year that we did or didn’t expect over the past seven months. Here are a few of our conclusions:

1. The job/school anxiety is so much more than what you expect.

Though I cannot speak personally to the anxiety of searching and applying for schools I can tell you that the anxiety associated with applying for jobs is out of this world. The level of anxiety may depend on the type of person you are, but I will tell you that everyone I’ve talked to has discussed the fear of the unknown future. As an extreme planner, I started going to the Career Development Office in September, applying for jobs in November, and have been networking for as long as I can remember. However, the anxiety started to interfere with my sleep schedule in January once the job hunt started getting serious. As hard-working and passionate individuals, we all assume we will come out of this job hunt with a prime job. The greatest worry is that we won’t. I had heard the stories of people with better grades than me and more connections who came out of senior year without a job. Sometimes it was because they decided to wait, but sometimes it was because of our greatest fear: rejection. Rejection is difficult enough to deal with. Applying for jobs has ridden my life with rejection. I can tell you that if you apply for schools at least you pay for hearing something back from them. When applying for jobs you have to continue to e-mail and call just to be told, “We’re going in another direction.”

2. Relationships are not easy.

I expected my senior year with my significant other to be amazing. I had just come back from being away from him for six months (the abroad life in Denmark). We reconnected in the summer and I kept thinking, “If senior year is half as great as this summer then it’s going to succeed!” I was dead wrong. Though I have been lucky to have someone to lean on through the difficult times, the anxiety slowly eats away. At first you both have so much work to do that you focus on school work. So regular dates turn into study dates. The worry of the future can cause panic attacks and sometimes you take it out on one another. Sometimes you begin to walk on eggshells because you know how stressed the other person is. The things that happen so easily through this time is to forget about the other person. This is a somewhat cynical view as some people take solace in their relationships senior year. However, friends and I have discussed how difficult it can be to hold onto a relationship senior yearsomething none of us were expecting.

3. Friendships become a “make or break” status quo.

There are times where you want to be friends with everyone in your class and keep the connections. However, as the year comes to a close you start to identify the people you want to keep close. I’ve noticed that I had friendships crumble in the past few months for unknown reasons while I’ve had some become an inseparable bond.

4. No matter how unhappy you’ve been or happy you’ve been, you’ll feel bittersweet about leaving.

We all have had times where the school seemed too small and all you wanted to do was break out of the Kenyon bubble. Conversely, there have been moments where you’re walking down Middle Path with your best friends on a Friday night laughing your asses off. No matter what memories you havegood or you start to recognize that these are the last few times you’ll be walking into Sam Mather or running on the Gap Trail with a good friend. It starts to really hit at Fandango, which marks 100 days until graduation. You’re surrounded by friends and professors alike. You take a second to look around and it begins to sink in: your time at Kenyon is coming to an end.

5. The most important thing: ALUMNI CONNECTIONS ARE REAL.

Leslie from the CDO had been screaming this at me since junior year and it wasn’t until I coincidentally ran into an alumnus at a dinner that I fully understood the power of Kenyon alumni. Now, it’s my turn to scream it to the masses: Kenyon alumni will be your greatest strength. If you’re trying to find an internship, a full time job, housing, or just make friends then Kenyon alumni will help you. They WANT to help you. I know I will be doing all I can to help Kenyon students in the future. If I wouldn’t have ran into the alumnus at the dinner I might not have my job. So get out of your comfort zone and book a schedule with the CDO and talk to some alumni.

 

Though these are just a few things I have learned this year. There are plenty of others and the experiences are different for each person. No matter what I’m here to tell you that senior year will be like no other: stressful, nostalgic, insane, and magical all at once. Take advantage of what you have on the Hill because one day you’ll be walking to grab your diploma in the purple robes. The time is closer than you think.

 

Image Credit: Faith Masterson, Spread Shirt