What No One Tells You About Your Last Semester of College

To be honest, I can’t believe I’m really typing these words, but here it goes -- I’m graduating college in a month and a half.

It’s terrifying and exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. The last four years have gone by faster than I ever could have imagined, and I feel like I barely know the version of myself that entered college back in 2015. There always seems to be a ton of advice floating around for college freshmen, but what about the seniors? Those of us that are gearing up to leave our shitty college towns, walk across stage fighting a hangover, only to receive a piece of paper that isn’t even your diploma? Yeah, we’re pretty damn clueless, too.

With that being said, I don’t really have any advisement for anyone in the same position as myself at the moment. I have compiled some of the things I have managed to learn over the duration of my last semester, though.

 

1. Every single relative is going to ask if you have a job lined up, and it’s going to be awful

It didn’t really hit me that I’m leaving until I went home for Spring Break and every family member asked what my plans are for post-grad life. When I said no and “uh, I’m not sure yet,” every miserable time, they all just seemed to nod awkwardly and attempt to change the subject, only making things even more uncomfortable. I had to keep reminding myself that it’s not because they were trying to make me feel bad (although their questions inadvertently did), but because that’s just what relatives know how to talk about with 21-year-olds. It sucks, it’s uncomfortable, and you might want to hide under a rock, but that’s family.

 

2. Senioritis exists, even in college

I had a severe case of senioritis back when I was graduating high school and I really didn’t think I would catch it in college, especially because my schedule is so busy all the time. But when your weeks as a student are limited and you realize you have to leave your best friends soon, all you want to do is hang out and enjoy yourself. It’s totally important to maintain your responsibilities and continue being a good student, but I will admit, it’s not the end of the world if you skip class on a nice day to hang out with your friends or significant other. It is your last semester, after all.

 

3. Everyone’s on their own path

It’s really scary when so many other graduating seniors are going on interviews, talking to employers, or already have jobs when you don’t. I began to feel like I’m the only person panicking about not having any plans, but trust me, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some people are so beyond ready to graduate, others are refusing to leave, and others don’t really know what’s going on -- but regardless, all of those things are completely OK. Everyone is on their own path, and yours is different than your best friend’s, or the kid you occasionally talk to in class. Just take a deep breath and remember that not everyone is the same.

 

4. There’s so much pressure to do everything

Being that I’ve spent the last four years at this school, one would assume that I’ve done absolutely everything I’ve wanted to do -- wrong. Now that my days are dwindling, there’s a sudden pressure to have the best time possible before I leave forever. I don’t necessarily feel like there’s anything wrong with this because I’m a firm believer in living in the moment and enjoying everything I possibly can. No, you probably shouldn’t go out three nights a week every weekend, and yeah, you shouldn’t skip your morning classes to go get brunch with your friends, but just remember to enjoy it all.

 

5. It’s hard to believe, but it is going to be okay

I’m still trying to get myself to figure this one out, but I know it’s the truth -- everything is going to be alright. I know it’s okay that I don’t have a job yet and that I still have a weekly meltdown over my classes. It’s fine that I still talk to my parents every day and have to ask them stupid questions about my car or cooking dinner. It’s alright that my sleeping schedule sucks, I don’t have anything figured out, and I still somehow feel like I’m thriving. I have to convince myself of it every day, but everything is going to be okay.