Making the most out of your last semester

Meagan Malesic, Asst. Features Editor

      While high school seniors typically count down the seconds until they get to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, college seniors tend to view graduation as a much more bittersweet occasion. Sure, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment in receiving a bachelor’s degree, and there is definitely a feeling of relief in knowing that you somehow managed to pass Anatomy & Physiology II, but there’s also a sadness in realizing that college has come to an end. College is a time to truly discover who you are as a person, independent from your parents and away from your hometown.


      Many of the memories made in college are lifelong, and the thought of leaving that all behind in order to advance into the “real world” can be terrifying. If you’re having mixed feelings towards graduation in only thirteen short weeks, you’re not alone. Here are a few simple ways to make sure that this final semester makes the most of every day.

Take Time for You

      This might seem like it goes without saying, but it’s important to remember as graduation comes near. With all of the stress and excitement that comes with graduating college, it can be easy for you to forget to take care of the one person who needs you the most: yourself. Remember to take time throughout the semester to de-stress and relax. Whether this means making time to meet up with friends every Wednesday at West End for trivia or just allowing yourself one hour of peace and quiet a week to watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, make sure you’re taking time for yourself and your mental health.

Make New Friends

     By senior year, most of us have a pretty set group of best friends with which we have become inseparable. However, don’t let this stop you from still reaching out and making new friends along the way. Just because you’re comfortable in your friend group doesn’t mean that you should close yourself off from new experiences with new people. There is still one full semester left to make new friendships, so don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class. You never know when you might find your next new lifelong best friend.

But Appreciate Your Old Ones

      Of course, there’s also a reason why the friends that you have now have stayed your friends throughout the past four years. Now is definitely not the time to take them for granted. While it’s important to still be open to new friendships, be sure to make the time to appreciate the best friends you’ve already made along the way. Now is the time to spend making more lifelong memories with the people who have been on this college journey with you through everything.

Make a Yearbook

      One of the most exciting days every year in high school was the day that yearbooks got handed out, but, unfortunately, this isn’t nearly as big of a deal in college. Don’t let that stop you from making your own yearbook! Compiling together all of your favorite memories that you’ve had from the past four years is a great way to look back and laugh on your college experience, and it’s also something you can keep with you for years to come for whenever you feel like reminiscing on all of the fun memories you made. If you really want to make it sappy, you could even get your friends to sign something in it as a way to remember them as well.

Start Planning forthe Future

      The real world is only a few short months away from us. Sooner or later, we’ll have to start paying off the wonderful college loans that we’ve avoided for so long. Now is the time to begin seriously looking into what comes next – whether that means starting a new school in a master’s program, or starting a career. As intimidating as it might be, figuring out a plan now for the next chapter after graduation will help relieve a ton of stress in the long run. Start looking around for job opportunities or finish up applying for grad school. Don’t let senioritis or a fear of the future leave you without a plan (or a source of income) post-graduation.

But Stop Over-Planning for the Future

      With that being said though, none of us can predict the future. Plans change – grad schools decide they don’t want to accept us, or the job market falls flat. Uncertainty is a fact of life, and no one can possibly have everything figured out. While it’s a good idea to try and come up with a plan or two about what happens after graduation, don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t work out exactly as you thought they would. Graduation is just the start of a whole new chapter in life, and there are bound to be plenty of opportunities ahead.

     As exciting as it is to finally graduate and discover a new path in life, many of us are going to miss college and all of the amazing memories and opportunities that it gave to us. Take this time to appreciate all of the great experiences you’ve had these past four years and start to plan ahead for whatever comes next. Graduation is quickly approaching, so be sure to make this last semester one to remember.