1) Seek understanding and perspective
Now, that sounds really vague and not really what you'd would think I would start off with But, honestly, the main reason I put off this post for so long is because I left like I had so many takeaways from my senior year and wanted some time to figure out exactly what it meant to me. With that being said, senior year was a test. It was really stressful and I found myself struggling to keep myself motivated and optimistic. But as I went through those moments (some of which were really long moments!) I realized the importance of accepting that which I could not understand and seeking to understand the importance of challenges in both professional and personal settings. By taking this time, I was able appreciate my experiences for what they were. Yes, I was disappointed when some things did not go the way I wanted them to, but sometimes what we want is not necessarily what is best for us. The importance of this takeaway extends beyond the classroom and college life and it has helped me appreciate what I have and handle curves and dips in the road better than I used to.
2) Pursue opportunities, especially the unexpected ones
Some of us pursue college with a vision and sometimes we can limit ourselves by pursuing the opportunities we planned and overlooking the ones we didn't account for. Senior year presented quite a few of those situations. I found myself doing projects that I hadn't pictured myself involved and each of them proved to be a rewarding experience. As I mentioned during my junior year post, expanding your experience academically, socially, and professionally is often one of the most significant things about the college experience. We cannot predict who we will be after we graduate because the experiences that move us the most are the ones we never see coming.
3) Recall with gratitude
As my senior year approached, I was humbled when I realized just how many people played a significant role in my college journey. Many people went above and beyond to support me and I cannot find the words to properly thank them for believing in me when I doubted myself and for providing me with invaluable advice, guidance and relationships that I will always cherish. I had the support of my family, friends and professors who contributed so much to my growth and I could not have become who I am today without them. College is overwhelming and the thought of graduating does tend to define senior year. Yet, at the same time, remembering all the people I was blessed to have in my college journey made it truly special and I wanted them to know that.
4) Use what you've learned
Certainly seems like an obvious one, doesn't it? The lessons I learned in college were valuable because of their applicability to all other aspects of my life, present and hopefully future as well. I struggled socially at the beginning of college; I felt out of place and unsure of what I contributed to the social atmosphere of a college campus. Thankfully with time, I learned to navigate the social scenes that I was uncomfortable with before and now am more aware of what it means to grow socially. Aside from that, I also learned about the nuances to commitment and resilience. Sometimes, what we need is the quiet strength and steadiness to get through a rough time, and in others, we need to be willing to take risks and speak uncomfortable truths (or not). Learning to direction one's self in such moments is a lifelong skill and college presented many such circumstances where the consequences were rather high. And the road ahead will likely have greater hurdles and challenges that require these skills.
5) Have fun
While the entire college experience goes by rather fast, senior year feels like it's on the fast track. Each term just flew by and before you knew it, it was finals week of spring term. I remember the first week of classes and cannot tell you where all the time went after that. I was very conscious of it though and tried in my own strange way to make the most of the little moments when I could. I spent more time talking with friends and did not complain as much about long, confusing sometimes random lectures. I was sad, knowing this chapter of my life was ending and I just wanted to hold onto it a little while longer. It was overall a great year and I could not have asked for a better senior year :)
With that, good luck to all of you who are now college seniors! Enjoy every moment and be proud of yourselves for what you are accomplishing! And for everyone else, hope you are having a great start to your week and September 2019 :)