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

Every college student dreams of senior year, the year all your dreams come true. You are finally old enough to go downtown, your classes are easier, and you’re applying to your dream job or graduate school. Everything is supposed to be perfect. If you are like me, dreaming about your senior year for the past four years can create an over-romanticized expectation for senior year. 

This is the year; I am supposed to be dating the perfect man, finishing my final classes, and enjoying life to its fullest. Yet, three weeks into senior year freshman me would be severely disappointed. My life is overrun with work from a useless job, to an internship, to classes, to trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am so busy preparing for the future I forget to enjoy what could be my last year in Blacksburg. 

In a life as hectic as that of a college student how do I best complete what I have spent my whole life waiting for while still enjoying the beauty that is the end of this journey? How do I prepare for my future outside of the classroom while enjoying the last few classes I have in those classrooms?

It can be super overwhelming trying to balance so many things at once. However, trying to soak in every moment and enjoy it all is just as overwhelming. Throughout my years here at Virginia Tech, each year had its own set of challenges. No matter what those struggles may be, my reaction to those situations was a large part of my overall experience. When bad things came my way, I spent my days obsessing over what I did to deserve to be in that situation or thinking of ways to rectify the situation. But the truth is, sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. Things in life will come and go, but you cannot hold on too tightly. You must let go and let life guide you in the direction in which you need to be.

The most important part of handling the anxieties and stress of any year, especially your senior year, is to consider your mindset. I caught myself romanticizing and setting unrealistic expectations for myself and my life this year. I was setting expectations that would lead me to fall short, thinking I failed or didn’t work hard enough to accomplish my goals. But when I let go of the expectations and standards I set for myself, I can further enjoy what is and not worry about what might be. 

I have no doubt this year will bring joys and tribulations, it will bring me great memories, but also sad ones. I will say goodbye to old friends, habits, and schedules and hello to places, experiences, and people. It is to accept the balancing act of life. These realizations have led me to make every decision with confidence and knowing that even if I make the wrong decision, it will all be used to further shape who I am and who I want to be. 

Senior year has always been meant to be a double-edged sword. Graduation itself is a bittersweet moment, knowing all the hard work has finally paid off but that new and better things await beyond the stage of graduation. So enjoy it, let go of the expectations and what should happen post-graduation. Enjoy every up and learn from every down. 

Caroline Reed

Virginia Tech '24

Caroline is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech. Caroline has been apart of HerCampus for four years and loves being around such a fun group of girls! She loves writing short fiction, poetry, and news articles. She enjoys watching old movies and listening to Taylor Swift.