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Senior starter kit

Being three months away from a shove into adulthood feels incredibly daunting— but seniors, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical’s “We’re All in This Together”).

Unlike High School Musical, however, our synchronized dance routine will not be a finale but rather usher us into a new life of bills, student loans, early mornings and responsibility. It will, of course, also hold bounds of joyous times and adventures.

One thing is certain: the time leading up to graduation will never come again. So how do we band together and make the most of our fleeting time on campus? I’m no expert, but I do have some keys on appreciating the present and soaking it all in.

1. Stay present. Yes, we will have new jobs and new relationships shortly, but let’s enjoy who currently lives across from us and learn to focus on today’s school assignments. It’s hard to stay appreciative for today if you don’t engage with what and whom is around you today.

2. Stay calm. Try to not get so caught up in applications and petitions and finances that you spend your final semester drowning in stress. Find organizational hacks to handle your to-do list in a way that eases your mental health during a critical launching point in your life.

3. Stay serving. Be consistent in attending and serving in church, even if you plan to fly across the sea right after graduation. Wherever you have sowed time and energy, don’t miss this time to reap wisdom and discipleship from those ministries.   

4. Stay young. Don’t hate the freshmen. Don’t scoff at stereotypical freshmen things and sayings. I guarantee some of the best memories and stories you’ll tell will come from the early college years, so respect the younger students for creating their own stories. If anything, try doing some of the things you used to do—bring a group to Saga late night, put together an intramural team, take a Prayer Tower mirror picture, act confused at how to work D2L. Don’t stop doing things simply because they’re associated with freshmen.

5. Stay connected. Especially as seniors, it becomes difficult to maintain friendships— friends are in practicums, internships, clinicals, post-grad life, study-abroad programs and other opportunities. When schedules are complicated to work through, friendships can fall through the cracks. These opportunities might be what prepares us for graduation, but your friends will be the ones sitting around you in caps and gowns—be intentional before you cross the stage.