*This post is a continuation of a previous post: “Thoughts from a Senior in Transition: Part I.” You can view that post directed at underclassmen on this blog post.
It’s hard to believe I’m nearing the end of my time at Texas A&M University. Time really does fly! My college years have been extremely formative in shaping who I am via experiences and some truly stellar human beings. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and in looking back to my freshman and sophomore years, I’ve pinpointed some things that really helped me make the most out of my college experience. And now as a senior, I’m recognizing new challenges and nuances to the transition out of college that I’m confident most upperclassmen experience at some point.
TO THE UPPERCLASSMEN:
Seniors in transition, this is an open letter to you.
1. It’s okay to not know where you’re going
Whether you’re graduating this spring or still have another semester or two, you might be feeling the beginnings of the transition out of college life (I know I am). Sometimes it can feel like some sort of “no man’s land”—where you don’t entirely feel like your place is in college or in post-college adulthood. There’s a strange in-between where you’re still expected to be fully committed to your studies, but there are also interviews, job negotiations, and everyone wants to know that you’ve figured out exactly what you’re doing with your life. (Hint: you probably won’t actually figure out what you’re doing with your life by the end of college. I’m pretty sure the entire idea is a myth.) Juggling commitments while remaining present in school and managing things for your next step is challenging, but I encourage you to resist mentally checking out. Savor your moments with friends, remain committed to organizations, and enjoy your last few months at the best university in the world.
2. Make an effort to stay in touch
This is also a season where relationships with friends and family can get more difficult to navigate. Some of the friends you’ve grown closest to might be taking a job halfway across the country, but those friendships don’t have to end. I think that this is the most valuable time to be open and honest with your friends. If you want to make a point to keep in touch after one of you makes a big move, tell them! If you want to schedule weekly Skype calls, tell them! They are most likely experiencing the same fears and emotions as you are and will be thankful for your vulnerability.
3. Your family relationship may change – and that’s ok
Finally, on the family front, dynamics may become confusing. You might be moving away from home to start your career or you may even be moving back home to save some money. Either way, your relationship with family members (ESPECIALLY your parents) will change! You’re preparing to face the world as an independent member of society. You’re assuming responsibilities that have belonged to your family for the past 20+ years of your life. It’s weird for you, it’s weird for them, and tensions may run high as you begin to acquire full control over your life decisions. I’ve learned that during this transition, the most valuable thing you can do is be intentional with your relationships with your family. Call your parents, grandparents, and anyone else, and don’t make excuses to avoid going home. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I would argue that going home more frequently during this transition can actually put both parties at ease. You want to know that your family supports you and they want to know that they aren’t losing you. It’s much more meaningful to have those conversations across the dinner table than across different locations. I think you’ll find your heart more grateful for everything they put into the past 20+ years, and they’ll be grateful you took the time to come home.
Upperclassmen: Are you looking to make the best of the rest your time in college and maybe pay it forward? Take a look at some opportunities to volunteer and give back to make every second of your time in Aggieland count.
View Volunteer Opportunities Collegewide