I remember the day after I graduated high school, an old friend of mine told me that graduation was the happiest time of your life and that graduating college was sad because the realization that the real world is waiting for you is daunting and scary.
At the time, I did not think too much about that statement, but now that the countdown to graduation has begun, it is literally all I think about.
Since coming to college in the fall of 2012 I have been preparing for this year and for life after college without really paying attention because I figured graduation was so far away.
At the time it was. I would like to think that I am prepared, but I know that I will not really know until I am actually in the real world. In a way, there is still this inevitable uncertainty that we will all probably feel until we graduate and get our first job or begin our first graduate course.
The craziest thing about senior year is that you do not realize all that you have to do until you get here and your adviser reminds you of all the requirements you have to meet. I came into the year with a significant amount of confidence in what I was going to do, but all of that confidence was stripped away in a 75 minute class period last Tuesday.
I considered dropping my minor because I kept thinking about what getting a lower-than average grade in one of the hardest classes I have ever taken would do to the GPA that I have worked so hard to maintain.
That led me to thinking about what graduate programs would think of my transcripts; I completely zoned out of lecture, which did not do me any good because I already have trouble understanding the material, but it happens. I was completely changing my whole plan. In my mind, I was crossing a couple of graduate programs off of my list, setting up an appointment with my adviser to talk to her about dropping this class and the minor all while sitting in the front row of a lecture.
I wanted to run to Dr. Tighe’s office, open up portal, drop that class and discuss a new course of action. I could not leave, though, because we still had an hour left in the class period and I could not help but think how rude it would have been to just pack up your stuff and leave class.
Honestly, waiting for that hour to end was almost painful. I really had to calm myself down, pull myself together, and remind myself that I’m prepared.
I have been given the tools to succeed. We all have, but I think that there are other parts of the four years we spend in college that deserve recognition as well.
We’re here to focus on our work and graduate with a degree, but we all know that the memories we have of this place after we leave will more than likely consist of the nights we spent with our friends whether we were studying or just hanging out; I doubt the exams we passed or failed will have any effect on our lives when we are settled into adult life.
I made a promise to make this year the best one out of my college career, and so far it has been good to me. I made a promise to myself to have fun and make the most out of my last year.
While I believe that grades and academic knowledge are important, I think that personal growth is just as important. I think a lot about the person I was when I got here and who I am now; I think about the people I came here with and the people I am going to leave with.
In general I just think about what has changed. In my years of being a student, I have met so many wonderful people and experienced so many incredible things.
When I get stressed and start to consider dropping out (don’t lie, we all do it), I know that I have my friends in the communications department to whip me right back into shape.
The bonds I have formed with those people and professors are bonds that I believe will stay with me well after we graduate and leave each other to pursue our dreams and our chosen career paths.
I would not trade any of it for the world.