The people's voice of reason

The Surprising Senior Year

Special Guest Contributor - Beth Thomas

I had a moment the other day in which everything just became real. The realization hit me rather suddenly, and I had to take a few minutes to process it. I applied to graduate last week, and even though I’ve known that this year of school would be my senior year, it hadn’t really occurred to me until I clicked the “submit” button. I was sent an email telling me someone would be in touch with me in the next few weeks about things I needed to know or do before I could graduate in the spring. It really shouldn’t have shaken me as much as it did; I’ve always looked forward to the things I would do after I graduate college. I dream of starting my career, owning my own little cabin in the woods somewhere with no one around but my pet dog and stingray (yes, a stingray). I think about what kind of car I’d like to buy as my first that I bought with my own money, and I wonder what kind of people I meet when I move out of my parents’ home. For some reason, though, knowing that by this time next year I will have graduated, moved out, and not have to think about homework or exams every again startled me.

I talked it over with one of my friends, who will also be graduating in the spring, and we spent too much time talking about things we could do to avoid the thought of graduation. We were both joking, of course, because we’ve worked hard to get to this point. We didn’t deal with crazy deadlines and difficult classes for years to drop out now. While we were talking, I suggested that it might be because neither of us can remember a time when we didn’t have to go to school. I’ve been attending some form of school since preschool, and I’ve finally reached college, which will be ending in a few short months. Honestly, I think that is the source of my emotions. What am I going to do when I don’t have professors and classmates to see every day or tests to study for?

Since that realization, I’ve calmed down and come to terms with the -­ inevitable end of my formal education. I may not have professors, classes, and late-night cramming sessions for tests, but I know that I’ll continue to learn in my profession. I’ll have bosses, co-workers, and new things to learn. As with all major changes, I’ll get used to the new situation in my life and move on. I am truly excited to graduate; this achievement is something that I have worked hard to reach, and I still have time to enjoy what’s left of college until I reach graduation.


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