Recently I was talking to one of my friends who graduated last year, and she gave me some solid advice about making the most of senior year.
“Go out. Even if you have three papers due and an exam the next day, if all of your friends are going out you should to. School’s important, but a year from now, you’ll be sitting there regretting all the times you said no when you could have been saying yes.”
And it’s true. We spend so much time thinking about how tired we are, how hungover we might be that sometimes we end up missing out on some pretty great times. As much as every senior hates the “g” word it’s coming, whether we want it to or not, and now that spring break is over we’re in the home stretch.
So I comprised of ten things we need to say yes to now that we’re in the second half of the second semester of senior year (ain’t that a mouthfill, huh?):
1. Say yes to weekend day trips
It’s so easy to lay around all weekend on the couch watching movies – I should know, my roommates and I consider it a productive Saturday if we make it to the dining hall instead of scrounging together a random assortment of food from our bare cabinets. But the weather is getting nicer and it’s important to explore the world around you. This is especially true if you don’t plan on remaining in New Hampshire after graduation, your four years in the area are almost up. So go out and make the most of them.
2. Say yes to Spontaniety
If you’re free on a Friday and craving clam chowder, head up to York and go get some from that little general store you remember eating at as a kid. Go into Portsmouth on a Wednesday afternoon when you aren’t too busy and roam the shops. After graduation we’ll be in the dun dun dun real world, and this free time will seem like a lifetime ago. Enjoy it while you can.
3. Say yes to eating out
Counting calories is great and all, but have you ever had Lexie’s? I’m also pretty sure drunk eating is not as socially acceptable once you graduate, but I’ll do some more investigating because I find it hard to believe I’m going to suddenly stop craving a piece of pizza after drinking. Hopefully wherever you go there is a Dominos to greet you at 3AM when you get there.
4. Say yes to taking care of yourself
Yes this means you should go to the gym, eat your greens, and spend extra time on your hair and all that jazz. But it also means loving yourself despite trying to better your appearance. If working out makes you happy, do it. But you should be your first priority, and putting yourself down will just make you miserable and less willing to go out and enjoy all the fun stuff Durham has to offer. Life’s too short, you know?
5. Say yes to theme parties
Think about it – when our kids go to college they’ll be going to 2000s themed parties where everyone has iPhones and wears Converses, leggings, Northface jackets, vests and crop tops and we’ll be reminiscing about the good old days. If you have a theme you want to try now is the time – before you become the theme.
6. Say yes to going out on weeknights
Maybe people meet for drinks after work in the real world, but I don’t think $1 pitchers are a thing that really exists anywhere except Scorps. So if you’ve never been to trivia try it out, and if you feel like karaoke no one is stopping you from belting your heart out on Mondays. Get a group of your friends together, do your homework early, and regret it the next day when you’re hungover in lab doing your best not to puke on your comparison microscope. Plus, going out doesn’t necessarily mean drinking or going to a bar, even hitting a movie or grabbing dinner is a good way to break up the week.
7. Say yes to good grades
I know this might seem a bit contradicting seeing as I just told you to go out whenever possible, but say yes to putting your best foot forward. For many of us, this is the last time we’ll ever have classes or homework or papers or exams. While I’m not as sentimental over that fact as I am going to be about saying goodbye to Libby’s Nachos, it is something to think about. But if you find your grades slipping try not to beat yourself up as I’m pretty sure employers don’t give a shit that you failed your Physical Science elective. And in the wise words of my mother, what do they call their class at medical school? …. A doctor!!!!
8. Say yes to the future
I know it’s scary, change always is. But go on as many job interviews as possible, keep your options open, and try your best to only accept an offer that you love. If it’s grad school that you want, study hard for the GREs. As much as we want to stay here forever we can’t, and we need to start thinking about what comes next.
9. Say yes to day drinking
I’m not even going to explain myself here. Websters on a spring day is something you must do, even if you’re hungover and the sun hurts your eyes and your headache. Ray Banz were invented for a reason.
10. Say yes to putting yourself out there
The time is now, people. Take a chance, even if it’s something as minimal as raising your hand during a big lecture or as silly as participating in karoake. Why not? At this point, you don’t really have anything to lose.
But most importantly –
11. Say yes to your friends
Sure I love Durham. I love being a Wildcat. I tell everyone that it’s the greatest place on Earth. But it wouldn’t be the same without my friends, and when I graduate and move home it’s not the parties or the bars or the lectures that I’m going to miss – it’s going to be the people. I’ll miss driving to Coffee Craving on a nice day with one of my roommates, singing along to whatever our favorite song is at the moment. I’ll miss those nights where we all stayed up until four in the morning after the bar just hanging out because none of us wanted to go to bed. You’ll never be within walking distance of all your favorite people ever again, and as much as you’ll promise to keep in touch, it won’t be the same when everyone’s scattered all over the place. So if your friends are all going out on a Tuesday, you should go. Because that’s what you’re going to miss. Those nights where “you just had to be there.”
So overall, live it up. Make memories. YOLO. Whatever you need to say to get yourself out of your apartment or house and into the world, you say it and you get yourself out there. Because the “g” word is only two months away, and I know the last thing I’m going to want to leave Durham with is regrets.