Senior Year Blues

Senior Year Blues

In 237 days, I will be free from the constant cycle of school. No more freshman first days, summer breakdowns, or senior blues, I will be set free from the routine I’ve known since I was five-years-old. The only true structure I have ever had.

I’ve never experienced a summer where I didn’t want to completely rip apart, shred and erase every version of myself in hopes of a better one forming for people to meet. I’ve never known what it’s like to not have the majority of my days spent in a classroom or some sort of learning environment. I’ve never had the freedom of meeting new people by not being in forced proximity. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do once next September comes when I don’t have a “first day” to look forward to.  

I want to be clear, I’m extremely excited to graduate. All the things I listed above weren’t exactly my favorite thing in the world. The constant stress and fear of being the best version of myself or falling behind did irreversible damage to my development. I won’t miss waking up at six in the morning every day. Mentally and physically, I’m happy to be graduating.

But emotionally, I’m scared.

I’ve known that I wanted to be a writer since I was in 6th grade in middle school. My English teacher gave us the task of writing our own story that had to be at least one page long. I ended up writing three pages and to this day I’ll never forget her words of praise. Not the specific words of course, but she said something along the lines of it being exceptionally good for my age and suggesting that I do something in the field of writing.

Those words are what pushed me to rush home that night and try to develop my little short story into a novel. (I never finished it.) They’re what cemented the thought of being a writer in my brain until high school. It’s what pushed me through four years of college to get my journalism degree. It’s the number one memory that has motivated me all of these years.

But now that I’m here. Now that I’m about to be pushed into the real world and can finally pursue this career. I’m frozen. 

I’m scared that I’ve fallen so used to this school routine that I’ll never move past this moment. I’ll be stuck here forever. All my friends will find “big girl jobs” and get married and have children and yet I’ll still be here. I’ll be a Mercy College graduate until my death. 

Because to be very honest, I have no idea where I’ll begin. Am I supposed to be looking at jobs right now or am I supposed to be looking at other colleges, going back for my masters? 

Everyone keeps telling me, “enjoy your last year!” and “embrace the final moments of freedom!” but at the same time I’m also hearing “make sure you graduate with a job” or “go right back for your master’s degree!”

I don’t know what to believe. And I don’t know which path I’m supposed to walk down.

People also say that it isn’t bad to not know what you’re going after college. To have absolutely no sense of direction in your adult life. But that’s only acceptable for a couple of months. There’s only a short period of time after graduating college until people start to see you as an unmotivated failure. I should know. I’ve seen it happen. So even if I wanted to take time off, I can’t.

And quite frankly, I don’t have the luxury of taking a couple of months to “find myself.”

My professor says the key to the”journalism world” is putting yourself out there. Producing work for your portfolio and forming connections will get you far. But it’s hard when I feel the most comfortable being by myself.

I think it’s a very cruel joke that the universe is playing on me to have an interest in a career where being extroverted and social is pivotal to succeeding.

There are so many I know who can’t wait to get out of school that it makes me feel like a defect for being the complete opposite. I don’t want to lose the security of the school routine. 

But like I said, I have 237 days until my world falls apart. Hopefully, I can figure something out by then.