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Seniors Who Act Like Freshmen

Don’t worry, this won’t be an article about 22 year old “adults” drinking too much Sunset Blush Franzia in the basement of a frat house (everyone knows real upperclassmen prefer drinking too much overpriced craft beer in the basement of a trendy bar, come on guys). No, this article is about seniors who act like the overzealous and impulsive kids they were freshman year.  

Do you remember those first few weeks? Still frightened of that big-fish-in-a-small-pond feeling, you eagerly signed up for every class, club, and team that caught your eye. You even signed up for that one weird club that has no relevance to your major or general interests (and you are likely still receiving emails from the club, even though you stopped showing up after one meeting when you shockingly discovered that ice-sculpture carving is not your calling).

Sure, maybe not all of those organizations were for you. Or maybe they were, but halfway through the semester as you were drowning in your Calc textbook you decided that it was time to cut back a bit. Either way, the most important part is that you went for it. You tried something completely new, without any comfort in knowing whether or not you’re any good at it, any hopefully stuck with the ones that you truly enjoyed.

But now you’re approaching the end of your time here, and you may have one or two extracurriculars that you are passionately involved with, or maybe none at all. As you inch closer to graduation, it’s likely that your academic workload will dwindle, freeing up some more of your time. Now is the exact time to morph back into who you were 2 or 3 years ago (I’d recommend leaving behind the free off-brand Michigan clothing and extra 15-20 pounds, but do whatever you feel is necessary to get into character).

Get out there and try new things. You may feel like a seasoned veteran at college, but it’s important to remember that the exploration and spontaneity that makes our time here so fulfilling doesn’t have to stop just because we’re the washed up oldies on campus now. Sign up for a new club, or take a class on a topic you know nothing about. Maybe you’ve had a declared major for a while and you already have a plan for your career, but don’t let that keep you from continuing to grow and learn about yourself.

Unfortunately, on your journey you may be met with some confused faces or judgmental comments. Upon joining a new organization during my junior year, I was told not to worry about joining so late, because “I’m sure you’ll still have time to make some friends!” I’ve also gotten: “Wow we’ve never had someone join for the first time as a junior! What took you so long?“

These comments can be frustrating, but don’t let them stop you. People might see trying new things as an upperclassman to be pointless: you only have a few months left, so why bother? That’s not enough time to get a leadership position to add to the resume, right?  

Don’t think of this as a resume-booster or a way to show potential employers that you are the busiest person alive (Four classes and five clubs? How does she do it!?). No, you should think of this as your last chance to break the routine, try something completely new, and have no fear of failing. Everyone knows that you learn about who you are while you’re in college, but this doesn’t have to stop before you graduate. So step out of your comfort zone and make your freshman-self proud.

 

Photos courtesy of Danielle Hunter and Tumblr. 

 

 

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