As I'm picking up my cap and gown and other regalia this week, I can't help but be faced with a reality check on how close graduation is. With the seemingly never-ending controversies surrounding university life, it can be forgotten how incredible of an experience college can be despite the stigma that surrounds it.
If you're anything like me, it is almost unbelievable that graduation is creeping up and it is perfectly acceptable to be scared out of your mind and filled with apprehension. College is intended to be a time of firsts and lasts -- some things just are not acceptable post-graduation. It's a time to define yourself under your standards; a time to determine your purpose; and a time to pursue your desires.
This time may be coming to a close, but let's make a commitment to make the most of our last stretch of college life.
Spend as much time with friends as possible
I cannot stress this enough because soon your group of friends will be off to different places and you will immediately miss the chance to send a quick text that you will be over in five minutes. Appreciate the late night dinners after group meetings, the last-minute wine nights and any other impromptu get-togethers. Most importantly, cherish the friendships you have made in this time of your life.
Savor the "college-only" experiences
We have all seen the articles that depict things that are only acceptable in a college setting, so make your list and savor each and every one. Pig out at the dining hall, attend one last fraternity party, and pull an all-nighter with your best friends where no studying actually gets done. Make a list of your favorite places in your college town and visit each one before graduation. Savor the memories that you created in school with the people who helped create them.
Appreciate your program and its faculty
Obtaining your degree usually means finding a home in your academic department. Four years in the same building with recognizable faculty is often under appreciated, but there is no better time to start appreciating it. Thank professors who have helped you during your time in the department or the person who guided you over the years, especially when you were panicking during advising. You would not have made it this far without a core program.
Find yourself in the midst of chaos
College is a whirlwind of emotions, events and lessons learned. Between the failed relationships, new friendships and five-times-changed major (no judgment), spend some time defining who you are and who you want to be. There is no better time to reminisce on the past four years and look towards where you want to go than right before graduation.
Although the next couple of months are encompassed with the unknown, embrace all that you have become familiar with during the past few years. College offers incredible experiences so grasp onto them before you set off into an entirely new adventure.