Then and Now: Freshman vs. Senior Year

Whether four years seemed like a long time when you first set foot on campus, or you felt like it was all the time in the world, there’s no denying that once you’ve reached the other end of your college career it’s been a whirlwind. For better or for worse, college forces you to grow up. Here are just a few things to expect or reflect on as the end draws near.



Freshman: sleeps 4-5 hours every night and is fine, just needs a Friday afternoon nap

Senior: must sleep 8+ hours every day…and will occasionally nap through class


Freshman: can eat everything and it doesn’t matter

Senior: fears dessert and free food because it now goes straight to their thighs…but will partake because they will soon be unable to feed themselves and must store up for bleaker times


Freshman: goes to Peirce for two or three meals a day and likes to hang around for a few hours to see friends coming and going

Senior: hasn’t been to Peirce in four days because you’d prefer to cook vegetables for yourself than eating your tenth slice of Peirce pizza for the week


Freshman: treats alcoholic drinks like Gollum treats the One Ring, and will seek out Keystone Light at parties

Senior: drinks with friends on weeknights, drinks with homework, drinks alone, wonders if they have a drinking problem?



Freshman: loves new people, eager to make friends, always smiling

Senior: confused about where all these new little people keep coming from every year


Freshman: fear being alone, especially in public places, always in the presence of friends

Senior: hasn’t seen housemate in three days



Freshman: getting to class twenty minutes early to get a good seat and settle in and be prepared before class begins

Senior: rushes into class at 9:40 with hot coffee and without their textbook


Freshman: procrastinates doing work until the last minute

Senior: at that point, just doesn’t do the work


Freshman: let me take ALL the classes, everything is SO interesting!

Senior: hasn’t taken classes outside of major in at least a year

Also Senior: only takes three classes second-semester senior year because can’t find anything more interesting than sitting on the couch for an extra three hours every week


The Future: Immediate

Freshman: naïve and optimistic and excited about everything

Senior: has been there, done that—and that and that and that


The Future: Long-term

Freshman: Has no idea, but is sure it will all work itself out

Senior: Has no idea, but is sure it will all work itself out (internally screams)


Clearly, some things change a lot, while others hardly change at all. As a Senior, I can say from experience that there are ups and downs along the way, but somehow, despite feeling bored and jaded, I’ve come out the other end of college a better, stronger person. Or, at least that’s what I have to tell myself to stay sane.

Image credits: