Ever wonder why the last bite of a cookie tends to be the sweetest? I think it’s because of the pleasure that comes right before the very end. Much like a senior year of college.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make my last bite be as sweet as possible. The following are five things I think every senior should do before they walk across the stage and suddenly become real people.
The other day, a random passerby stopped me on campus for directions. I knew who this kid was before he even opened his mouth.
Doe-eyed, soft-spoken, and shaking a bit from a mixture of equal parts excitement and nerves. If you had held a mirror up to me 4 years ago, I think I would’ve seen a similar person: a textbook example of a college freshman.
Senior year seems to quickly be turning into the year of last-minute decisions for me. It’s only the first week of classes, and I’m already toying with dropping my minor.
Long story short, to complete the minor, I’ll have to take six classes this semester. That’s one more than the standard max—and it actually requires a petition from the university to do.
Now, I’m faced with a tough choice: do more than the max during my last semester of college, or give up my minor altogether and take some weight off my shoulders.
Yesterday turned out to be the best Monday of my summer.
I had forgotten to take my lunch to work, and was begrudgingly preparing to shell out $10 at Chipotle. Just as I’m about to trudge there, a man walks into my office with a platter full of sandwiches, salads, and desserts. He was promoting his restaurant’s delivery surface to companies in the area by dropping off some sample food at select places. Apparently, we were selected.
That was good enough for me, but then to top things off, my boss showed up to work with a box of Chinese pastries for everybody. I mentally thanked the universe and started chowing down, trying to remember if I had done a good deed or been particularly altruistic recently.
It was a nice little life raft tossed into the sea of uncertainty and self-doubt that grad school and job applications have had me floundering in these last few months. I had almost forgotten, but sometimes, good things really do just happen out of the blue.
For the past 15 years or so, August has been the strangest month in the year for me. I’ve always thought of it as a precipice month, a time to get ready to dive off the cliff of summer and into the unknown of a new school year.
But this coming August feels different, and I think it’s because it’s technically my last as a student.
Unlike most serious conditions, self-diagnosis of “application blues” is totally acceptable. I am currently going through an enormous bout myself, as my inevitable transformation into an actual person gets closer and closer (5 months away now—eek).
If you find yourself spontaneously reciting a list of your extracurricular activities, spending hours researching acceptance rates to various programs, and attempting to find the quirkiest (yet witty and informative) way to open a personal statement, you my friend, are infected too.
When you’re still in school, having a full-time summer internship brings you about as close to the real world as you can possibly get. Instead of an erratic class schedule complete with the occasional (or not) 3 a.m. homework cram, you’re suddenly on the 9-5 grind and in bed by 11 p.m. on weekdays.
Though I’ve pretty much been employed full time every summer of college, this one feels the most real to me because I’m no longer living at home during it! No more fridge stocked with food, no more loving parents to take care of my laundry and dry cleaning as needed.
If I want something done, no matter how small, I have to take care of it myself.