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End of Year Emotions

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

So in case it hasn’t been noticed already, the weather is finally slowly but surely becoming nicer and sunnier.  About a month ago I was visiting with my dad (aka getting some free food) and he asked me how many weeks I had left of school.  I thought about it for a second and replied “Oh my god I have a month left” to which he cruelly replied “Then you’re a senior”. 


He obviously didn’t say this with the intention of it being cruel, however if I entertain the thought of next year being my last year at UMaine, I get a little nauseous. This time last year, my friends and I spent almost the entire day reminiscing on our first semesters of college the previous year. This year, as I discussed the upcoming end of the semester with my dad, I spent my own time reminiscing.  This time though I wasn’t as excited or happy as I was this time last year during our reflections. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are different arrays of emotions towards the end of the school year that differ depending on your year in school. With each ending year, there are mixed emotions, but there is a definable difference between each.


1. End of First Year

First of all, the end of freshman year is almost kind of stressful.  Wasn’t there some kind of rule that you were locked out of your room forever 2 hours after your last final?  All I remember about the actual process of moving out freshman year was finding all the things I had lost in my dorm throughout the year (oh there are those 3 MaineCards!) and waiting three hours for my RA to check my clearly cleared out room and give me the okay to go home. Besides the stress however, the end of freshman year is exciting in a bittersweet way. The end of your first year of college is an accomplishment of some sort.  If you get out without getting arrested or dropping out, you did an okay job. No more Bio 100 exams, English 101 portfolios, showering in flip flops or eating at Hilltop. You get to go home and hang out with the high school friends you still keep in touch with (more so than you will in later years) and tell them all the crazy stories about the time you almost set your dorm on fire or got an A on an exam you didn’t study for. The end of freshman year signifies that hey, if you can get through the first year, then the next three should be a cakewalk, right? PLUS next year you get to come back as not a silly freshman, and hopefully not living in a dorm room anymore. Exciting stuff.

2. End of Sophomore Year

End of sophomore year is a little similar to freshman year in that at this point you’re super done with exams, papers, and the daily stress of classes. You’re not as excited to leave though- you already know you can get through one year, so it’s not seen as much of an accomplishment. If you are lucky enough to live off campus, you are going to miss the comfort of your own personalized space that isn’t your parent’s house. Leaving sophomore year is also harder because at the end of sophomore year, you’ve probably found your really solid group of friends. Freshman year friends do stick around, don’t get me wrong, but instead of focusing on who’s going to what parties, who lives down the hall and who has the same classes as you and hanging around with them, sophomore year you focus on who you want to see. If someone doesn’t live down the hall from you, are you willing to drive to the grove to hang out with them? If yes, those are your solid sophomore year friends and not just your going out friends from freshman year. It’s harder to leave these people for the summer knowing that you’re going to come back as an upperclassman with the end of your college career in sight.

3. End of Junior Year

The end of junior year comes with the nausea I mentioned before. At this point, we realize how fast time flies when you’re having fun. We are at the point that we realize that yes we have one more year left, but that year is going to fly by at a much faster pace than we want to think about. Like I said before, you have established the people you wish to spend your time with. The difference now is that you can almost call yourself old. I’ve caught myself at Margaritas on a Friday night at 11:30 perfectly content to head to bed soon instead of in the middle of finding a cab to go out like I was every Friday night freshman year. At this point, you have your true friends, hopefully you’ve turned 21, and you’re enjoying the Thursday night scene more than the Saturday nights at frats. More and more of your family and friends from home are asking you your plans for the summer (expecting to hear about an internship- not your high school ice cream job) and if you’re applying to grad school next year. It’s a freaky transition that you don’t notice until it’s already happened- so the end of this year is definitely sadder than most. On the other hand though, you have one last year with your best friends, being legal, and being kind of a real adult. Senior year will be fun because it’ll be the last hurrah and you’ll probably spend it celebrating the whole time.

4. End of Senior Year

So I’m only a junior, but I can take a gander from my senior friends’ reactions and observations how we are going to feel at this point next year. In a word- terrified. Graduating high school is one thing- you’re moving onto college. Graduating college is another thing because what are you moving onto? There’s such a variation of things you can do after college from grad school, to adult jobs, to not figuring your ish out for months on end. That’s why the thought of leaving this fine establishment can only be intimidating.  At the same time, imagine it’s this time during your senior year and you have a sick job offer, or plans to travel, or the opportunity to not go to school for five minutes for the first time in 16 years.  It’s all about perspective- even if it is a little scary.

Katelyn is a Senior at the University of Maine studying Psychology and Child Development/Family Relations. Her involvement with Her Campus began at the UMaine chapter in 2015. Currently she is President/Co-Campus Coordinator of the UMaine chapter. In addition to HerCampus, Katelyn is also Secretary of UMaine's Active Minds chapter. Katelyn's future plans include traveling, being a dog owner and figuring out how to be an adult. Fun fact: she uses excessive amounts of hairspray & loves to wear black.
Kate Berry is a fourth-year journalism major at the University of Maine in Orono. She loves reading about the latest trends and events.