If you’re about to start your senior year of college, you’re probably wondering how everything went by so fast. It probably seems like the first day of college was yesterday! Don't fret. Here are the five things you should put on your senior year bucket list, to help you make the most of your last year.
Let's get the serious stuff out of the way. Senior year is significant, and though it is a time to have as much fun as possible (more on that soon), it is also important to face reality. You're going to have to make decisions about your post-graduation life, such as whether you want to find an entry-level position in your desired field, or apply to grad school.
My advice: don’t fear these decisions, and don’t avoid them. Plan ahead, and give yourself some time each week to figure out what you want to do. If you start focusing on your future early enough, you won’t find yourself panicking about jobs in the middle of finals. And while you should do your best to plan, it is okay to not have immediate plans after graduation. Most people spend their entire lives figuring things out.
This may be your last chance to take college classes for a while. Take this opportunity to branch out and challenge yourself. Have you always wanted to take a dance or film class, but never had the chance? Is there a professor you’ve always admired, and wanted to study under? Aside from fulfilling your remaining requirements, you should take the classes that you’ve always been tempted to take, and learn something new or unexpected along the way. And while you're at it, make the most of your campus resources while you still can!
While you may be tempted to spend your senior year sticking close to your friends and deepening the relationships you already have, senior year is a great time to meet new people. Other seniors probably realize, just as you do, that this is their last opportunity to get to know the people around them. Don’t be quick to dismiss relationships as temporary, and thus unimportant. Meaningful relationships can be forged in your last year, and even your last semester. So don’t be shy: strike up a conversation with an interesting classmate or friend of a friend, or catch up with an old roommate. The people you meet in college are an important part of your experience, so don’t deny yourself!
There is going to be a lot of pressure on you during your senior year. You need to figure out your future, write your thesis, and try to make the most of everything. You will inevitably have an annoying friend or acquaintance who has their future planned to a tee. But you know what? Everyone has their own pace for figuring things out. Anxiety very rarely produces results, so relax, and have fun. Stay focused on your work, but don’t stop yourself from going out. Staying calm and feeling content will serve you better than constantly stressing or comparing yourself to others. No matter what happens, no matter the fallout, the grades, or the so-called missed opportunities, you should take the time to look back on all that you’ve done, and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come.
Finally, senior year is going to be a time when you will be bombarded with advice. (This article is just the start!) But senior year is your year. So listen to the advice, and take from it what best suits you, but make your own bucket list.