With almost exactly three months left ‘til the class of 2012 walks across that stage and kisses “the best four years of our lives” goodbye, seniors have a lot of feelings, thoughts, emotions, and goals cropping up about the next few months. With so little time, it is imperative to make the most of the important things. And though the whole reason we came to college was to learn, it’s time to embrace “senioritis” and focus on the significant things outside the classroom.
Seniors need to pick and choose on how they embrace senioritis, because skipping 75% of your classes and going out 7 nights a week might land you back at Wake next fall. And as much as we are going to miss college, the solution, sadly, is not failing classes and staying an extra semester. So, here’s a little tutorial on how to master senioritis, making sure to cut corners in all the right places.
Make the most of what campus has to offer.
Whether this means using every last Pit swipe or going to every speaker that comes to campus, make sure you are taking full advantage of what being on a college campus offers. I know this may come as a shock, but next year you will have to cook for yourself (yikes!), and there probably will not be free food at midnight when you are staying up late to finish a presentation for work. So make sure you stop by the carnivals on the Quad and rack up on the freebies. Take advantage of career services during the job search process, and get advice from your professors while you still can. There is a lot happening on campus every day, so make sure you are aware of it and making use of the opportunities around you.
Do not stress over every little thing.
If you are freaking out because you don’t have plans post-May, persevere in applying for jobs. But if you are stressing because you made a C on a test or you need a 4th roommate for your house next year, take a step back. If you are skipping a party to finish reading for class, go to the party. Do not let your last few months of college be wasted by worrying over nothing. Relax, trust that it will work out, and spend your time doing something more worthwhile.
Go to class.
There are places to cut corners. You can slack on doing work for your classes, but if your professor has only seen your face twice and your grades are low, they are much more likely to fail you than if you have been active in class every day, even if your grades are just as low. So, skip the hours spent in the ZSR at night, but make sure you do not make a habit of skipping class.
Do not do anything illegal.
Most of you probably have bucket lists that include bending a few rules, maybe stealing a Subway sandwich or sneaking into the tunnels. As long as it’s harmless, go for it. But steer clear from vandalism, danger, and really anything that might land you in serious legal trouble. The last thing you want is to get a job and then have it taken away after a not-so-great background check.
Focus on people.
It’s sad but true: college will soon be only a memory. However, what you will take with you from this experience is the people and the relationships you have developed over the past few years. So if you want to turn your time into something that won’t be gone in a few short months, focus on spending time with your friends. Schedule Pit dates, walks in Reynolda Village, Cook-Out runs, and afternoons on Davis Field. You will value those way more than you will value your GPA, I promise.
Do not burn bridges.
We have all enjoyed the status of “being a senior,” but do not let it go to your head. Make sure you avoid treating the underclassmen like they are the gum on the bottom of your shoe. Make sure you still talk to your professors and respect them. Make sure you are saving time for all your friends, not just your significant other. Down the road you want to be able to look back on college with good memories, not regretting that you spent all your time with one person or that you were a huge jerk when you had no reason to be.
Still think about the future.
Typically, my motto is, “Wherever you are, be all there.” That applies in a lot of ways to enjoying the senior slide, but in some ways, it is imperative to think about what you will be doing once May rolls around. While I do not advise staying in every night to apply for jobs, do not ignore the future completely. Maybe block out a few hours a week to apply for jobs, write e-mails, check DeaconSource, or look for apartments in your future city. You do not want to worry away this last semester of college, but you also don’t want to be jobless, directionless, and living in your parents’ basement in six months. So, strike a balance.
Last, but absolutely not least, have fun. Though this may seem obvious, we are all guilty of getting caught up with “Work Forest,” being overly committed, and planning every second away. Commit to having fun this semester. Be spontaneous. Live it up. Do things that you will never be able to get away with in the real world. Take plenty of pictures. After all, we have spent four years working hard, competing, and planning for the next step, so just make sure you enjoy the last bit of this fun chapter of our lives. Let senioritis infect you, in all the best ways possible.
*Photography by Laura Grace Carroll