The Beginning of the End: 4 Stages of Starting Your Last Semester

The start of a new school year is always exciting and nerve-wracking. But, for a senior starting their last semester, there are a couple of different stages that they enter in the only the first couple weeks (or days) of their final semester.

1. Excitement

It’s FDOC of your final semester of undergrad! At this point, most of your classes are senior capstones that might only meet once or twice a week. You walk down Chancellor’s and see the new freshman walking all over the place trying to figure out where Bear Hall or Kenan Hall is. You aren’t feeling the stress of making it to a new building you have never been in before or trying to make it from one end of Chancellor’s to the other in less than 10 minutes. Excitement is the only thing you are feeling. You are one more step to walking across that stage and getting your diploma. Nothing can stand in your way now.

2. Realization

So you had a great first day. You might have had four classes. Or you might have not had any classes at all. Whatever the case, your FDOC could not have gone better. But now, you have finally started to realize that you are one step closer to graduation. You realize that will soon have to start to think about what is going to happen next. Are you going to apply to grad school, look for a paid internship in your field, or jump right into the workforce? These thoughts now fill your walks from class to class. When working on your assigned readings or studying for your upcoming exams, these thoughts will pop up at any given moment. With realization comes the next stage of anxiety.

3. Anxiety

All around you, your friends are figuring out what they what to do next. But you might not know. You have no idea if you are going to stay in the college town, move back home, or end up somewhere new. All of these thoughts may cause you some intense anxiety. I’m in the same boat. I have no idea where I want to go after graduation or what I would like to do. Every day I can feel the thoughts building up in my head and have no idea what to do with them. Fortunately, the last stage answers all of the questions you may have.

4. Embracing

It might take a while, but once you go through the first three stages, you are finally ready to embrace your final semester. No matter how many questions you may have or thoughts of what you are going to do, embracing your final semester will allow you to forget everything. Enjoy this time you have. This might be one of your last times in life where you are going to be living with your best friends or see them every day in class or just on campus. The past four years might have gone by in a flash, but enjoy your last semester before you have to fully enter the adult world.