By Lisa Folkmire, Copy Editor
They say that senior year is one of the hardest of undergrad.
It’s a time to hunker down on that 50 page paper on the recurrence of the Oedipus complex during medieval stage-plays, all to create that final gold-bound pile to display proudly on mom and dad’s fridge, to which they’ll say, “We sent her in as a child, and she came out writing this.”
Granted, they probably won’t read much of it. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll complete an in-depth analysis of the abstract before handing it back saying, “That’s nice, dear. Now when do you plan on moving out? We’ve been waiting to turn your bedroom into a combined fly-tying and pottery displaying station.”
Which will, of course, remind you of the 27 graduate school applications that you finally put together just before Christmas break, leaving your savings account with a black eye and peg leg.
This will all be in time to tell your siblings that you will be crafting gum wrapper sculptors in the shapes of their favorite animals for their presents, the very year they coincidentally got you the “best Christmas gift yet!”
If you’re not spending your Fall Term praying that your computer won’t shut down in lieu of losing your 27 graduate school tabs, you’re hoping that next year you will be anywhere doing anything to prove to those around you that you made something of the degree you hid behind for four years.
Regardless, you’re still scraping the ground-floor of your bank account. Now is good a time as any to begin to truly believe in the seriousness of student loans.
Of course, all of this preparatory work for graduate school applications, resumes, and cover letters is combined with leftover leadership roles, the multiple campus jobs, and the attempts to scrape together the final nights out with the friends, who are (almost luckily) freaking out right along with you.
In turn, hangouts turn into venting sessions about the multiple ways to send transcripts to schools, the impossibilities of writing about your life-plan in less than 200 words, and the constant worry, “What if I end up moving back in with my parents for life?”
An anonymous friend of mine attested, “You know, I have so much to do. I’ve done none of it. I’m actually quite proud of how little I’ve done. But I shouldn’t be because I should probably be accomplishing more than nothing.”
Another anonymous friend stated, “I am so tired all the time, there is just so much to do. I am so glad that I have caffeine in my life.”
They say that senior year is one of the hardest of undergrad, but they never get too specific on what “hard” entails. You can hear about the graduate school apps, the textbook of a thesis, the high expectations of professors, and the constant hole in the bank account, but it’s difficult to fully understand the stress that comes with all of these situations.
They also don’t tell you that aside from all of the stress that comes with your multitude of newfound responsibilities, you’ll also begin to find yourself increasingly excited to leave Alma College. You will be completely ready to move on with your life to show off the shiny new degree you practically tore your hair out for.
I won’t sugar-coat it in the slightest—for my perfectionist, over-burdened, go-getter self, senior year has left me saying, “I was not made for this time of life” multiple times a day. However, the most important aspect to remember is that through all of the applications, final projects, and nerve induced chats with professors, it will all pay off in the long run.
Until then, best of luck, my senior comrades—may we all get exactly what we need.