Graduating Early: The Realities of Senior Semester

The majority of college seniors across the nation anticipate a spring graduation. They know that they have one last year full of unexpected adventures. They know that they’ll have one more spring break, whether they spend it on a cruise or traveling through Europe. They know they have that last year to fit it all in, but there is much smaller group of college seniors in universities throughout the nation that don’t have a full year left. This group of seniors has chosen to graduate in the fall at the much smaller December graduation ceremony, and they have just one semester to fit their senior year into. I’m one of these seniors and I call our version of senior year: the Senior Semester.

As my summer interning in New York City came to a close and I finished up my summer album of pictures on Facebook, I started thinking about my senior year ahead...only it won’t be a senior year, it’ll be a senior semester: Senior year chopped in half. Half of the time to fit as many collegiette adventures as I possibly can.  For the rest of you collegiettes in my same situation, here are some of the realities of Senior Semester.

You want to be everywhere at once

You’re going to wish that you had three versions of yourself. One to go to all of the parties and out with your friends, one to finish all of your advanced classes and another to spend time working out. Sadly, this isn’t going to be possible, but you can do as much as you possibly can to fit everything into your day. I’m only three weeks into my Senior Semester and I’m already more organized that I’ve ever been before in my life. If you want to fit all of the above into each day than you’re going to have to be organized. I’ve taught myself to plan each of my days and even to be an early bird. Last year, I would have gladly slept into 11a.m. everyday, but this year, I’m up 5 hours earlier. This is how I’ve been able to fit my fitness into my day. I take 6:15 a.m. workout classes and, believe it or not, I actually have so much more energy once I finish them than I had last year sleeping in late. Getting up early also gives me the additional time to study, so that I am able to go out with my friends at night. I know 6:15 a.m. sounds crazy but, believe one night owl to another, it’s possible.

You won't be able to do everything that you want. 

Regardless of what you do to try to create more time than you have, you still won’t be able to do absolutely everything that you want to do, and that’s okay. There are going to be nights with date functions or times all of your friends are going out when you’re going to have exams to study for, essays due or even jobs to apply for. You are still going to be able to go to amazing events and have wonderful times with your friends. It’s all about balance, and the real world is months closer to you than it is to them, so sometimes you’re going to have to put that first.

You'll be ahead of the pack.

This could be the reason that you decided to graduate early. It’s why I made the decision to do so. Sometimes this is going to seem exciting, and sometimes it will seem a little scary. You can be sure that your friends are going to bring it up all of the time to you. Some are going to look up to you and be proud, while others are going to think it’s crazy that you are ready to graduate earlier than they are. You should be proud of yourself for finishing up all of your classes early and pushing yourself to be the best you can as you prepare for the real world. You’ll be taking on the world before most of your friends, while working to follow your dreams.

If you are in your Senior Semester like me, make the most of it. Balance fun and work, and be excited to see what the future holds.

Photo Credits: