Junior Scaries

Senior Scaries is a term one of my senior friends made up. Basically it means the fears and anxieties seniors in college have about becoming a real person and entering the adult world. Coming from a junior who had an identity crisis in the middle of last quarter, I think that Junior Scaries are just as real. 

Throughout my first two years of college, I had pretty much defined and almost pigeon-holed myself as a STEM major. I felt like I had something to prove as a female STEM major. But, if anyone had ever asked me what my dream job would be, it would to be a writer- literally any job that would let me write. 

About halfway through the Fall Quarter of my junior year, I was sitting in one of my upper division chemistry classes and had an identity crisis. I decided to completely abandon my academic plan and change my major with less than two years left. I never really thought I would or could be able to write as a professional and instead dedicated my time to biochemistry classes and working in a research lab. Don’t get me wrong, I love O-Chem- I’m that nerd- but it was never something I wanted to do full time outside of college. So, I decided dedicate my time to something I truly am passionate about. 

On top of stressing the need to decide what you’re going to do for the rest of your life at the ripe old age of 20, the way our society is structured places so much stress and pressure on nailing that perfect, once in a lifetime internship that will determine the rest of your future. Ideally you’d land this job the summer between junior and senior year of college, or, at the very least, after graduation. We all know what it’s like stressing about applying to jobs- it sucks. You just have to keep your head down, work hard, and let your success show in your work ethic. 

I think one of the hardest parts of college is finding out who you are and where you fit in before you enter the real world. Such a vague and cliché question I know, but it’s true. Somehow, you pass the halfway point of college and you stop and realize you might not fit into the social scene like you thought you did. You might not have that core group of friends that so many of your peers seem to have. It can feel so debilitating and isolating. But that’s also when you realize who the real ones are, the real OG’s that are there for you no matter what. Those are the friends that matter. 

Junior Scaries are real. We’re so close to leaving college and becoming real adults. The key is to realize you’re not alone in deciding to switch your major halfway through junior year, in stressing about finding a job, or in struggling to handle the balance between social and academic life. Embrace being on your own, going on adventures by yourself, and doing things for yourself.