It’s that dreaded time of the year again — finals. Which means graduation for seniors is just an arm’s length away. With graduation so close it seems seniors are shaking in their boots. They are now bombarded with the dreaded “So what are your plans after college?” question while giving the dreaded impromptu answer “I’m moving back in with my parents for a little while.” The fact that the so-called “best years of our lives” are coming to an end is undoubtedly scary. I mean, actually having to be a real adult sounds terrifyingly subfuscous. However, while all you seniors shun the idea of entering the real world, I look toward you with loathing and immeasurable envy.
The truth of the matter is, as I find myself getting kicked out of the Knowledge Center at 2 a.m. in the midst of my self-induced Adderall bender, not having slept for three days straight and on the brink of a full-blown mental breakdown, I tell the seniors to stop their whining and embrace graduation wholeheartedly.
I get it. Blacking out on a Tuesday no longer being entirely acceptable can be a scary concept. Having a potential 9-5 desk-job career doesn’t sound like much fun either, but you know what sounds like fun? Being able to breathe for 10 seconds and not waking up to night terrors your anxiety-driven subconscious provides you with. Stop your crying and start bedazzling your grad cap already. Because while you’re taking your gap year in Prague, us juniors have a whole new year of sleep deprivation, waitlisted courses, teachers with mediocre Rate My Professor ratings and stress.
Let’s be honest, junior year is arguably the worst year in college. Freshman year everything is new and exciting. The world is your oyster. Sophomore year is a breeze; you actually start taking courses you may enjoy and it’s the end of the nightmare that is Core Humanities. Senior year is the final stretch. It’s the time to live it up and look forward to what the future has in store. Almost like a breathing point. You’re almost there. But junior year is nothing short of hell. You develop premature senioritis and your life is a constant string of “Why didn’t I do the 15-to-finish crap sooner?” If I have to do a super-senior year, I’ll have no choice but to drop out. Junior year is undoubtedly the year of absolute madness. You hit a peak of blandness. You unknowingly become bored with all your college life is offering you, whether it be the overdone bar scene or the repetitiveness in your daily routine. The excitement lacks and it becomes rather difficult to not develop a type of been-there, done-that mentality toward everything. You’re too far from the finish line to have the senior nostalgia set in where you have a divine appreciation for things, therefore your attitude is somewhat stagnant. Junior year is a full Debbie Downer embodiment.
So seniors, I understand that parting with certain chapters in your life can be difficult. The workforce may make you seem like a small fish in a big old pond. However, instead of honing in on how sad you are college is ending, focus on some of the things that won’t be missed. You might even be able to appreciate a full eight hours of sleep for once. College is an amazing time in our lives. It is a time of self-discovery and priceless memories. But try to wash it off with fond appreciation instead of bewilderment that it is coming to a close. Because while you complain about having to work a big-girl job, I have a whole new year of getting kicked out of the Knowledge Center against my own will.
Congratulations, class of 2016, you made it. Welcome to the next chapter in the rest of your lives.
Ali Schultz studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AliSchultzzz.