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

Everyone talks about the “senior slide” or “senioritis”, where a senior starts to lose their motivation and coast for the rest of the semester. You start to lose the smallest care in the world if your discussion post is a little late, or if you don’t reach the word limit for your essay. You just want to be done and make it to graduation with a decent GPA. While these are true and affect most seniors, there is something bigger than both combined. I’ve decided to call it the “senior panic” and I am a victim of it. 

Graduating college is exciting and something to be proud of, but to be honest it is terrifying. Everything is about to change, and I have no idea what the real world is like. We have spent the last twenty something years in a classroom between the months of September and May. Then June to August we know as our summer vacation. Well, that’s gone now. It’s going to be an 8am-5pm job Monday- Friday for the rest of our lives. That is a major change.  

I will no longer have to worry about school work. Sunday deadlines – gone. I will actually spend my Sundays hanging around. Night classes – gone. Instead, I can meet my girlfriends out for drinks. Finals – gone too. Instead, the last week of December and May will be just another week. While, all of these things have been a pain the last four years, it is still something I have grown accustomed to. It is going to be bizarre not having to worry about discussion posts, essays, or anything else. This change from the college version of “adulting” to full on “adulting” is scary.  

College is ending, and homework will be no more, that has been established. But what about where you are going to live? If your college career was anything like mine, you have been living with your friends in an average apartment that is walking distance to campus. You probably split who brought what furniture. And someone is probably always home for you to talk to. Now what? Sure, you could keep doing that. But do you really want to live with college students when you’re working full-time? Do you really want to continue living in a “college apartment”? Probably not. So, do you move home? I don’t know about you, but my home is not far from Milwaukee… however, it is still not what I want to do. I’m not ready to leave this city, just like how I’m not ready to graduate. I guess that leaves me with getting a one-bedroom apartment. Now that’s “adulting”. I have spent the past two months going to apartment showing after apartment showing. You would think that looking at places to live would be easy, but it is so stressful. One minute you’re falling in love with one apartment and the next second it rented to someone else. Definitely not as easy as moving into your freshman dorms. You start to second guess if the stress is worth it. Once you find the place you’re going to live – by yourself may I add – you must come to terms with that. You will no longer be living with some of your best friends. It is just going to be you. *Insert small panic attack here* 

Creating a to-do list is important when you are ending one chapter of your life and starting another one. So, let’s break this down;  

  1. Do school work for rest of semester to graduate 
  2. Make sure that you are even on track with graduating. — THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT. I’ve had my own freak-outs over this one. 
  3. Figure out where you are going to live. — If you are getting your own place, find one.
  4. Get a job. 
  5. Enjoy the rest of college and BREATHE. 
  6. Adult life. 

So, I’ve already gone over the first three things, now let’s talk about what you are actually going to do with your time after college. Hopefully, you are going to get a job. This is just as stressful as the rest, if not even more. You have to start applying to full-time jobs months in advance. Better look at different cities and locations because there are probably only five options where you want to work. On top of that, check out the qualifications. Entry-level jobs are supposed to actually be entry level, right?? Wrong. Some want you to have YEARS of experience. I’m serious. I’ve seen some jobs claim to be entry-level but require 3-5 years of professional experience. If you’re confused as to how that is possible, I am too don’t worry.  

If your chest isn’t tight and taking a deep breath isn’t hard for you, you’re crazy and you should re-read this article. Even though I have laid everything out in a step-list format, it doesn’t’t happen like this. You have to juggle 5-6 balls all at the same time, and still be a human. There are so many hours in a day, and unfortunately, we can’t really devote an entire day to just searching for jobs or looking at apartments. Somehow, we are expected to plan our lives out but still finish school, work our part-time jobs/internships, and be a friend. Oh, and somewhere in there eat, sleep, shower. 

Are you stressed yet? I know I am. Welcome to the “senior panic”. But, in all seriousness congratulations to all the seniors. It is a major accomplishment and something to be proud of. Even if things don’t line up exactly how they are supposed to or how you want them to, they will one day. We are all still so young and have the rest of our lives ahead of us. Let’s enjoy the next 2 months before college is really over and try to panic a little less. 

The past four years really flew by…