The Senior Scaries

Kathleen Mackey, Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to another year of me attempting to eloquently express the swarming thoughts living inside my brain! *cracks knuckles* Let’s get into it. 

Summer is a prime time to unwind, relax and worry less about responsibilities. But, if you’re an overthinker like me, the plethora of free time that comes with summer break can quickly become a trap for stressing even more about the future. This tends to be the case for most of my summers, but as I headed into my senior year, this overthinking reached new levels. 

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed my free time and break from studying. But, there were many moments of panic and stress about the future. It was the first time I had really felt the panicking feeling that comes with the unknowns of quickly approaching adulthood. I’ve always been so used to only having to worry about the next year ahead of me and knowing exactly what that entails. But with graduation in the distant but quickly approaching future, I’ve found myself having to accept my soon-to-be reality of adulthood, which comes with many unanswered questions: What will I be doing after graduation? Where will I be living? Will I even have a job lined up?

I realized that for the first time in my life, I really have no idea where I will be in a year. In fact, I have no idea where I will be for the rest of my adult life. Of course, my natural reaction to this was to spend half of my waking moments trying to figure out those answers and put pressure on myself to make decisions I thought I had to make. I quickly realized that as much as I tried to design a clearer future for myself, there was only so much I could do to control it.

I spent much of my free time researching job opportunities, planning out the logistics of whether or not I should stay in Cleveland or move back home and pretty much driving myself crazy. I quickly came to realize that there’s no harm in preparing for the future and making sure you take the necessary steps to build a successful plan post-graduation, but there’s only so much you can do to prepare. The whole point of this long tangent is that, at some point, we simply have to embrace the unknown, as scary as it can be. 

As rapidly approaching as grad-life feels, I still have an entire school year left to learn, grow and prepare. The past three years have flown by faster than I ever could have anticipated, and I know my last year will be no different. It is easier said than done, but I know that in order to preserve all my time left of college and live as presently as possible, I need to not dwell on the inevitable future and focus on the moments happening right now. 

As college students, there’s certainly a pressure to have it all figured out before we toss our graduation caps and head into the post-grad world. But the reality is that no matter how much we think we have it figured out, we’re going to make mistakes and end up on a path that we might not have foreseen.

So, if you’re anything like me and don’t really have a clue where life will have taken you this time next year, you are not alone. There’s no way to pretend it’s not scary, maybe even terrifying. But I hope you’ll try to celebrate the idea of not knowing what’s ahead. It could be something way better than you originally hoped.And if it’s not, you have your entire adult life to find the right path.