Senior Struggle #1: Time for the Breakdown Chair

Happy Monday, friends! It’s a good day to stay inside and read a book, watch some Netflix or perhaps… write a blog!

In case you don’t know, the theme of my blogs for this semester is “Senior Fears/Struggles” and the more I’ve been dwelling on this theme, the more fears/struggles I can think of. The predominant one for this week? The concept of time.

My housemates and I have been struggling with this a lot this week; so much so that we have designated a chair in our living room as “the breakdown chair”. (If you couldn’t guess, it’s the chair where people go to cry if they’re having a life-crisis.) It’s actually really fun – we take a picture of every visitor to the chair and are going to make a collage at the end of the semester. So far we have had two visits to the breakdown chair and that’s only this week.

Need a good cry? Come over and take a sit in The Breakdown Chair.

The origin of both breakdowns has been due to busyness and lack thereof. One of my housemates, Britta Hageness, finds herself in the non-busy category and comments on her situation as follows.

I feel like all seniors are in one of two boats. They are either jam-packed busy – finishing up a full course load while also applying for jobs or grad school, working multiple part-time jobs, and taking on huge leadership roles on campus – or, there are seniors who only have one or two classes left and are left with an abnormal amount of time in their day-to-day lives.

I [Britta] am the second one, and I think I’ve been having a mini identity crisis about it. I think my past three years of college have been a balancing act of trying to be the “perfect” amount of busy. I’ve tried to not over commit myself to clubs and other activities because a) I want to be able to finish my homework and b) I like my sleep. But I also want my schedule to be full enough to feel like I have a specific purpose on this campus and to avoid boredom.

This semester, my “perfect balancing” system has gone out of whack because I have too much time. I’m only taking one class at Hope, along with one class online. Grad school applications have been sent out, so that’s also off the to-do list. Having too much time is a unique problem for a college student. I truly don’t think I’ve ever been bored for the last three and a half years, not even for an hour. Now I’m trying to avoid boredom on a daily basis. I’m trying to make the most of it by reading books for pleasure and by actually being prepared for class. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby like sewing or figure skating… haha.

I guess it’s a nice transition into the real world where we won’t find our identity in our major/ classes/ studies. However, it doesn’t feel like the college life that I’m used to.

While many seniors are in Britta’s situation, there are also many seniors that are packing it all in. That would be me.

I’ve found that I’m barely treading water this year what with being enrolled in 16 credits that I need to graduate, working three jobs, and being in more clubs than I can count. On top of that I still need to come out of this busy season with a job so that I’m not completely lost after graduation. Most days I wonder how I’m going to come out of college in one piece.

While Britta and I are both struggling with managing our time, the idea to be taken away from both our situations is balance. After college there will be an adjustment period for sure, but as long as we know ourselves and how much we can handle (or not handle) the natural balance of work, friends, and life in general will fall into place.

So whether you’re feeling the busy burn or waiting for life to pick up, know that college is all about finding out who you are and discovering your balance. Take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok. (Said more for my own assurance than yours I’m sure.)

Stay tuned for more Senior Struggles next week!

Published by Mikaila Bisson

Hi there! I'm a Hope Senior from Sterling Heights, Michigan (about 45 minutes North of Detroit). I'm an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis (fitting), and have a Business minor. I'm super active in Hope life. I am a Student Ambassador, the Senior Treasurer on the Executive Board of Nykerk, and was involved in Orientation as an AD. I also work on campus at the Career Development Center as a Career Advisor, and at Hope's Physical Plant. I love playing any kind of sport (soccer's my favorite!), have a weakness for shoes, eat dessert twice a day, read like its my job, am currently watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and have a passion for Golden Retrievers. Contact me at mikaila.bisson@hope.edu because I'd love to hear from any and everyone. Also feel free to follow my super trendy Instagram account at @miktroubleee or my equally as trendy, even more Hope-filled Twitter account at @hopemikaila17 .

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