It feels as though just last year I was a freshman in college. I wish that I could say that I was better prepared for how quickly these few years were going to move by but in truth I wasn’t. Just like all good things, college too must come to an end.
As I approach my last year of school there are a few things that I am starting to realize about life in general.
- People will miss you, too.
Just as we will be missing people as we move on, there are also people that we may not even remember impacting who will miss us when we leave as well. So be kind and grateful to everyone that we interact with.
- Say “Thank You.”
You may just be starting to realize how it really takes a village to raise a child. There have been so many people working toward your success. A lot of people are on your side and have been working for you. So say thank you. Don’t be afraid to show them your appreciation before you move on.
- Appreciate the little things.
Those final semester cram sessions with your best friends? Going to the Plymouth with a few close friends to catch up? Whatever those little experiences are for you that you have grown to maybe take a little for granted. Really cherish them. It won’t be long before those routines are just memories.
- It is okay to be emotional.
Senoir year is a year of highs and lows. Between the stress of finals, job search, or grad school this can be a very intense period of our lives. We are also saying goodbye to a routine that we have grown very comfortable with. It is okay to miss people. It is okay to stress eat Taco Bell or over all be a little bit of a mess. Just make sure to give yourself the space to be human and move forward. Because the rest of your life needs you to be the boss that you are meant to be.
It is really amazing to see how important your network really is. These people are not only the ones who can help you find jobs but they also are able to give you advice. Take care of them and they will take care of you. At the end of the day, we all want to see each other do well and be happy. Listen to them and see how you can help them succeed and they will do the same for you.
It is not too early to start getting connected with the alumni association. I know this sounds corny but the Gannon Family really is a family. You don’t stop being a part of Gannon once you get your diploma. The alumni association is not only an opportunity to build your network but it is also an opportunity to stay connected to the community that you have given key years of your life too. Also, it is a wonderful source for free food. Check out one of their Knights around Town events for free appetizers and drinks with young grads.
- It is never too late to travel.
Sure, you may not have taken had the opportunity to go abroad yet, but that doesn’t mean that senior year is too late. If you have been curious of going on an alternative break service trip or a travel trip then now is the time to do it. Most likely, your post grad life will be more centered on transitioning into the “real world” which can make travel even harder. Plus, Gannon gives you scholarships that you will likely not receive if you travel on your own. Lastly, this is another chance to make some solid friends before graduating.
- THIS IS THE “Real World.”
Plot twist… college is the real world. When people try to tell you that after you graduate you enter the “real world” they are underappreciating the life that you have created for yourself the past few years. Sure post graduation may have a different sort of schedule than taking classes full time but you will find a new routine. It doesn’t mean that post grad life is any better or worse but rather that you will find your own rhythm at your own pace. Also, responsibilities may change but that is a natural part of life. Don’t stress about the “real world” and embrace the fact that you have always been a “real adult” since well… you became an adult.
- It is okay not to have a J.O.B.
If you are not going to grad school you are likely familiar with the pressure to find a job. Suddenly any family gathering brings up the elephant in the room.. whether or not you have a J.O.B. It is funny how many well meaning people feel the need to pry and “help” you figure out the rest of your life. But don’t let this pressure get to you. If you are really nervous go to people that you trust or even stop by the career center. Just remember that no matter what, you will be fine. And even if Nancy in Accounting already has landed her dream career it is perfectly OKAY for you not to know yet.
- A year of service is a thing.
Speaking of finding a J.O.B. we sometimes forget that grad school and full time are not the only options. There a bunch of opportunities to do a year of service. Also a lot of these packages have some great benefits. Besides giving you space to find your real passion and build your resume you can also earn money, scholarships for grad school, stipends for loans, travel, and make a difference in your community. If you are interested you can stop by the Center for Social Concerns for more information or go online.
- This isn’t the end… but the beginning.
Believe it or not… as much as it can feel as though we are losing the life that we come to know this is not funeral. College was always supposed to be temporary. These four years have been us laying the foundation for the rest of our lives. We are taking all of this experiences and embracing our destiny.