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Underclassmen Dread Graduation Just As Much As Seniors

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

As graduation approaches, I can assure you that seniors are not the only ones anticipating that fateful day in May — for better or worse. While those of us with senior friends happily congratulate them as they get accepted to grad school, internships, a job, and all the other exciting opportunities that await them, it still means that starting next semester we will have to go through college without these friends constantly by our side. And as genuinely happy as we can be for those who are doing great things after college, it doesn’t make it any less sad that they will leave campus and not be around as much after this spring.

Making plans with your friends in this weird time in the semester comes with a bittersweet energy. You’re excited to plan and do things with your friends, but cannot seem to forget the fact that there will only be so many more moments like this, only so many times when getting together is easy because we are all close to campus, rather than scattered across the country in various hometowns or engaging in new professional opportunities. And of course, this panic often hits me at the worst times, seeking to ruin a fun moment. The other day when I was with my friends on a typical Friday night, I had to shake off the fact that starting next semester, at least four of the people I was happily sitting with won’t be there. As much as I want to be happy for my friends and the exciting opportunities that await them, I selfishly want them to stay and spend the rest of their college experience with me.

Is there even a way to deal with this? Do you bury this feeling in order to live in the moment and just enjoy the time you have left with your seniors? Is it better to ignore that thought or open up with everyone around you just for everyone to suddenly object to speaking about the subject and everyone gets sad now that you’ve shared your doom with the rest of the group?

For my own sake, I try to keep these worries at bay as much as possible. It seems better to cherish the beauty of the moments you have left in college with these friends, and wasting that on this negative energy doesn’t help anybody in this situation. As much as I want the semester to be over for the sake of no longer having to do school work, I would never want to rush through the dwindling weeks I have left with my friends. Instead I need to not only cherish all these moments to the fullest, but try to make our gatherings more frequent, despite everyone’s increasingly busy schedules as finals steadily approach. My advice for everyone experiencing something similar is to do the same, and furthermore establish good habits for you and your graduating friends to stay in touch even once this semester ends. Just because you and these friends might be physically apart, does not mean you can’t call, text, interact on socials, which for once makes me grateful for our phones because of this constant accessibility. Maybe even promise to send fun letters and postcards, or establish regular FaceTime calls to stay updated in each other’s lives. The more creative and unique this method of connection is to you and your friends the better, and will allow you to create memories with them even after they leave campus.

“It seems better to cherish the beauty of the moments you have left in college with these friends, and wasting that on this negative energy doesn’t help anybody in this situation.”

Of course while we are all going to be upset by the seniors leaving, try to do yourself a favor now to fill the gap. While the friendships we have with our seniors are irreplaceable, joining a new club or generally putting yourself out there in new ways to make new friends is a great way handle this. It can’t hurt to make more friends with people in your own grade, so hopefully you don’t have to go through such a harsh loss again until your own graduation. Above all, don’t forget to deepen the connections with the seniors that are still around. They’re probably just as upset as underclassmen are to be leaving friends behind, and will be happy that you love and appreciate them enough to build a connection that will last beyond college.

And of course if you have any other tips to deal with graduation separation, don’t keep them to yourself! I assure you we’re all gonna need the extra support over these next few weeks, especially me.

Jessica Tusa is a writer at the HerCampus UConn Chapter. Jess loves to write about film and TV, pop culture, and unique college experiences. Outside of HerCampus, Jess stays involved in local media with her two positions at her college newspaper, The Daily Campus. She is also involved with Page to Stage Productions at UConn as a performer, director, and writer. She is currently a junior at UConn, majoring in English, with minors in Communications and Film Studies. In her free time, Jess loves to crochet, write in her journal, and catch up on the latest TV and movies.