Time has already been flying by since the semester started up again, despite the summer dragging on for ages. Working on my own schedule for two months this summer made me appreciate the planned out schedule of class on a new and very deep level. For ten weeks I sat in the library, and almost every coffee shop on Main Street, working on my research for the McNair Program here at UD. Thankfully, I was doing this research on a topic I care very deeply about: environmental injustice, and so I felt like I was both gaining really important research experience and also diving deep into the topic I hope to go to grad school for. While I won’t spend forever on the topic, if you are considering pursuing a research experience: go for it.
Within the first day of class, I felt wholly relieved to be thrown back into a regular schedule of class and work. That is, until I realized that senior year is an entirely new beast that I might not be ready to face. Firstly, let me tell you, grad school applications are just simply unpleasant. Deciding the programs to apply to, asking for recommendations, and writing many, many essays, leaves one with a general sense of panic and a deep worry for the future. Secondly, I did not plan my schedule correctly whatsoever. Once again I have somehow made my schedule entirely overflowing with class, work, and meetings. People always say how they plan to take their easiest classes in senior year and reduce their workload, but I guess I just didn’t get that memo. After switching my minor in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies to a second major in the second week of senior year, I ensured that I would be taking a full course load for my second semester of senior year. And trust me, I know that may sound like a perfect way to add some more stress into the senior year equation, and I won’t disagree, but in my mind that stress is worth it in the end for classes I really enjoy (see my last post on classical studies).
My third issue with senior year is handling the nostalgia of it being the last year at UD. I have lived with my same roommates from freshman year in Redding all through college, and when we decided to move off-campus in junior year, we added our friends who lived only a few doors down from our corner room in section 3C. As I’m quickly realizing, I’ve been incredibly lucky to live with several of my best friends, and I really just don’t want that experience to end just yet. As much as every college student knows that they will need to move forward at the end of their four years, that fact really just hits a little different in senior year.
While my senior year is off to a very stressful start, the nostalgia of it being the last year (while sad and difficult to deal with) also kicks in to say, “hey, take a break and talk to your friends,” and for that, I am grateful. If you are a senior and reading this, and perhaps resonate with the stress rant I’ve laid out here: lean into the nostalgia, and let it motivate you to enjoy yourself a little bit more.