This one goes out to our seniors.
Since we wouldn’t be millenials if we didn’t complain, let’s start with a complaint. Where was our hundred-days party? Most other universities helped their seniors celebrate this milestone, trust me I know, I scrolled past all the Instagrams. drinking a bottle of wine off the school’s (my) dime at an open bar would have been a great way to cap off such a disappointing winter. But alas, here we are, getting closer and closer to graduation and only a handful of open bar events left for us to attend.
For most undergraduates, February means spring break planning, midterm cramming, and pretending we’re not swiping into the upstairs Pryz as much as we are.
But for seniors, February takes on a different tone. February is when we start to hear back from graduate schools and jobs. While some people post every acceptance letter on Facebook, other peoples’ social media presence goes eerily quiet. Everyone gets a little awkward around each other, because we want to ask if our friends have any plans after graduation but we don’t want to add to the stress (and we also dread being asked that question in return).
Our last semester is speeding by, and maybe part of it is that we’ve been having spring weather since early January, but graduation isn’t approaching subtly.
There’s something quite remarkable happening in these last few desperate months: while freaking out about the upcoming life changes we simultaneously have become very comfortable in our lives. People are reaching out to friends they haven’t spoken to since sophomore year, taking more walks around their favorite spots on campus, and reaching out to past professors as they realize that they soon will lose this opportunity. Seniors bond over saying “C-store” instead of “the Pod,” and reminisce about McFadden’s and the times when Penn Social wasn’t overrun by freshmen worried their IDs won’t be accepted. We talk about those desperate nights freshmen and sophomore year when the craving struck and we would Uber to Rhode Island just for Chipotle.
There’s no point in telling us savor these last few months, because as great as these tiny moments are, no one wants to have another year studying material for exams you don’t care about and won’t help you. There’s also no point in saying screw responsibilities and focus only on our futures because that’s just unrealistic.
But there might be a middle ground. There might be some place we can try to occupy for the remainder of the semester where we don’t skip class just because we can and we don’t fail a quiz because we know the professor will drop the lowest one, there may be a time we text our friends from our LCs, (or at the very least buy their Starbucks if they’re behind us in line), or we take our professors out for a beer because maybe Nietzche’s superhuman will make more sense after three drinks from the Pint, maybe there’s a little piece, everyday, that we can break off from CUA. Maybe there’s a potential for something special in every moment, something that will help these next three months stretch out, so that when we walk across the stage we know that we’re done, we know that we earned it, and we’re content with that.
And no, this wasn’t brought on by the fact that none of the senior editors have any idea what they’re doing after college.