Anything worth doing will have struggles. But anything worth the struggle is worth doing ~ Megan Finsel

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ten Truths About the Last Year at College

    For those of you, like myself, who are entering their final year of college and preparing to graduate, these are hectic times. Between paperwork for transferring and for graduation, entrance exams for universities, or job hunting for after you receive your diploma, there is so much to think about!

     But even though I've had three previous years at this school, and I have a pretty consistent routine, I've noticed some minor things are starting to change. Here are some of the things I have noticed about this year that has been different so far from past years: 

We Stress (a little) Less About Being on Time:

    Not a whole lot, but now that we've got the school memorized and we know we can get from the Library to the Science building in three minutes, we don't have to stress. Of course this frees our minds up to stress about other things, but hey, at least we don't stress about time anymore!

We Start Putting Our Health before Grades:

    When at first we needed to keep our GPA up and our classes in order, now that we have all our ducks in a row and our graduation is more or less guaranteed, our health can be taken into account. Now we can make up for all those late nights, followed by early morning classes, and we can choose water over Starbucks. We have time to cook our own healthier food, instead of deep-fried fast food between lectures. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is what we should be doing from the beginning (but I'll explore that in another series). 

We Value Sleep:

    When we were once willing to sacrifice our sleep for a test, now we find we can hit the snooze button once or twice before having to get up. Naps (beautiful naps) come back into the picture. Hallelujah! Even though falling asleep on our textbooks doesn't count as osmosis, we can always keep trying. 

We Drink Less Coffee:

     This may just be me but I've noticed I'm drinking less coffee this semester. Perhaps because I'm valuing my sleep and health more, I'm not certain. But when I used to drink two or three cups of java a day, now I'm getting by on just one. Don't get me wrong, I still love coffee, but my reasons for drinking it seem to have changed this year. 

We Pray More:

    Between meeting transfer requirements, completing all our courses before graduation, and passing entrance exams, we need a little more Divine intervention. Prayer should be integrated into our routine anyways, but I've found that I've been praying even more, as I'm rushing to complete everything on time. Interestingly enough, it works! Just saying ;) 

We Make More Time for Friends:

    Friends on campus, friends outside of school, friends in general; when that final semester comes rolling around we find ourselves climbing out of that hole we'd been studying in and seeking companionship. Now, although our schedule is crazy, we take a minute to take that phone call from our bestie, or meet for coffee, and talk about things other than school. Life no longer revolves around classes and homework; it's a liberating realization!

We Don't Worry about Time Management (We've got that Down Pat Now):

    Homework assignments, classes, work schedules all of it has become second nature, and we don't have to make a note or set a reminder for everything anymore. Whether we stay organized with online tools (thank you Evernote and Google!) or with an old-fashioned, spiral-bound daily planner, what was once a hectic adjustment is now relatively easy. 

We Have More Fun:

    Whether it's video games, sports, or some other extra curricular activity, we tend to have the chance to have more fun (or even make time for it). Fun should be a priority, but in this final year we have the opportunity to have more of it, seeing as, hey, we're almost to the finish line!    

We Start Thinking about Graduation:

    This is probably the biggest one seeing as our final year is geared towards the main goal of walking across the stage and accepting that diploma. But of course it's never that simple, as we have paperwork to fill out, caps and gowns to buy, and classes to complete. All the while keeping that final goal in mind, while we trudge through the required courses.   

We Begin Planning for the Future:

    Although, this has been something we've probably already been thinking about, now it's more of a reality than ever. The future is looming, and graduation draws closer and closer. We start to put that five year plan into motion and we're seeing the fruits of our labors. It's an exciting (albeit nerve wracking) time. It can also lead to stress, anxiety, insomnia or other more serious emotional struggles. This is why our health becomes important and those prayers need to be as frequent as possible.

    Nonetheless, These are just my observations from personal experience, this list may or may not apply to everybody. Are you in your final year and you can relate? Can you think of something to add to the list? If so, feel free to comment below! And as always, good luck with your studies and God bless!