Surviving Senior Year: The Balancing Act

I’ve sat down to write the first entry of the column that will chronicle my final year as a college student about fifty a few times now, but I just haven’t been able to figure out where to start. So I figure I might as well start with the truth: I can’t seem to write this column because I’m not really sure how I feel about this whole “senior year” thing.

I mean, sure, part of me revels in the fact that this will be the last year I am forced to deal with pretentious professors and overzealous freshmen. No more writing papers on topics I just don’t care about or being forced to take core courses I have no use for. (I am a currently taking Plagues, Outbreaks and Biological Warfare for my science requirement. I can be bitter.) No more late night cram sessions or midterms. Or finals. No more college.

But no more college doesn’t just mean no more classes, its means no more college. No more college means no more built in, ever expanding social network. No more themed parties or club sponsored events or months off in between semesters. No more college means that I’m going to have to join the real world.

So with that in mind, I’ve decided I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. I’m a recently 21-year-old, single college girl with way too much to worry about. I have every reason to check out and give in to that oh so tempting state of being known as Senioritis. The only problem? Life won’t let me. You see, it seems that Junior Jenn was much more eager than Senior Jenn. Junior Jenn believed that writing a senior thesis would be fun, that attempting to finish out both of my majors in the fall semester was a great idea, that taking on leadership roles in clubs would be worth it, and that – oh yeah – taking on the roll of tutor in addition to already working 10+ hours a week would be the right thing to do.

Granted, Junior Jenn had good intentions, but Senior Jenn? She’s feeling the pressure.  Those pesky, what are your plans for after college questions have already begun, the GRE is looming closer and closer with each day I avoid my review book, and I just can’t seem to muster up the energy to care about my Senior Seminar the same way I care about the latest episode of Gossip Girl.

I’m about to start my fourth full week of classes now. (I actually had to check the calendar to figure that out) and I see no signs of things calming down, but I’ve put my obsessive compulsive organizing skills to good use and I’ve figured out a way to fit it all in. And keep my sanity. (Hopefully.)

Senior year is only just beginning and the stress is starting to consume me, but my break from reality this past weekend (delayed birthday celebrations, mani/pedi, shopping spree, Starbucks) has made me realize the importance of taking time out, and enjoying those other aspects of college; the ones I’m actually going to miss.  No matter how hard I try I will never be able to know exactly how things are going to turn out, if I’m making the right decision or the wrong decision, if watching the late night showing of Pretty Woman instead of reading for 18th Century Literature will set my life on a path of complete and total destruction, if dinner and drinks is worth that late night cram session that will surely ensue the next day.

So I’m going to stop worrying. Stop stressing. Start enjoying.  If I focus on the now, instead of on the future, things are looking pretty good. Okay fine, so I have to take the GRE and write a thesis, and I may have finally taken on one too many extracurricular activities. But hey, I’m also of legal drinking age now. And maybe I don’t have any idea what I want to do next year, but at least that means I have options. The possibilities are endless. And that’s a plus. I’m not sure what’s going to happen next year, because I’m not even sure what’s going to happen tomorrow (I’ll have to check my schedule.), but I’m going to make sure I enjoy it.

It might not be easy, but at least it will be interesting.

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