In the majority of schools today, students start thinking about college even as early as middle school. By your junior year of high school, you get asked: “where are you thinking of going?,” “What is your top choice?,” “Where have you applied?” You read up on your options, you apply, you get accepted and you get prepared to embark on this new adventure. You get to college and it is as great – and, in some cases, as awful as anticipated.
But no one prepares you for the end. After all that build up, the few years of your college career fly by and suddenly you’re a senior and you’re supposed to have a life plan all laid out for yourself. But in reality, the past few years have consisted of learning how long you can wear the same pair of leggings without washing them and perfecting your beer pong game. The experience of becoming a senior can be summed up by a show you probably spent a semester (or more) binge watching on Netflix: Friends.
Ending junior year:
For many people, then end of junior year comes with a sigh of relief as it is usually one of the most academically difficult years. When it ends, you can go into the summer with that behind you and a light at the end of the tunnel of academia.
When teachers discuss career options:
I did not expect my first day of classes to consist of each of my professors talking about career paths and asking us our plans. But that is what my first week of classes consisted of. This is when the reality of your situation sets in.
“What are you planning on doing?” “Have you applied to any jobs yet?” “Do you have an internship?” “Are you going to move?”
The job search:
Even just Googling career options is overwhelming. Discussing the actual probability of getting a decent paying career straight out of college is just depressing.
The thought of leaving:
Thinking about leaving the last few years of your life behind is bitter sweet. On one hand, this is what you have been working towards and the future is right ahead of you. But on the other hand, this place has been your home and these people have been your family. Leaving will be a big change.
Whether you’re on track with a five-year plan or you still have no idea what’s going on, you’re going to be just fine. You have been working hard the last few years and that is going to pay off. Pursue your dreams!