For some, graduation is coming up fast and can feel very daunting. Four years of your life are ending, and a new chapter is approaching. How terrifying. I know I personally am a little wary of graduating, even though I have been looking forward to it all year. Four months away now. What do I do until then? How do I make sure I graduate feeling as though I accomplished things? Well, here are some tips from a fellow, worried senior.

Looking Back

This is not a tip telling you to dwell in your past. This tip is meant to help you reflect on what you have already accomplished so far. You made it through four years of schooling, you have finished so many classes and participated in extracurriculars. You have made new friends and met new people.

Sometimes reflecting on the positives of your life can help the future look less threatening. You can see what you have made it through and how hard you have worked to get where you are right now. Without this affirmation, fear can be overwhelming. Not only are you stronger than you think but you have what it takes to approach the future head-on. We are often shaped by what we go through.

I, personally, have had some rough patches while in college: classes that weren’t what I expected, assignments I struggled to get through, relationships that had to end, etc. The list goes on. But, I made it through and now I’m standing in my last semester of college with the confidence that I have what it takes to make an impact before graduation – to do something.

Approach Graduation with Your Head High

You are going to make it. Don’t worry. With four months left there is always time for something to go sideways, but that isn’t something you should be worrying yourself with. Focusing too much on what could go wrong keeps you from seeing what has gone right.

Look around at the time you have left to get more done! Accomplish more, grow more, do more. There is still time, whether it feels like it or not. This is something I have had to learn over the course of my senior year here at Hope. And it wasn’t easy.

I tend to dwell too much on what I haven’t done and what I should’ve done and less on what there is still time left to do. Just because the final countdown has begun, doesn’t mean I just give up on opportunities. This last semester I realized that, due to my overwhelming schedule the past couple semesters, I finally had some time to do extracurriculars. So, my friends and I made an intramural badminton team; I sometimes play pickleball on Saturdays; I go out more; I make an effort to meet new people. This has led me to feel more fulfilled coming into this last semester as I approach graduation.

Don’t Plan too Hard, Graduation will Come Anyway

I’m not saying to not plan at all. Please plan a little to ease your mind, just don’t spend hours fretting over things you can’t control. You can apply for all the jobs and plan all the trips you want, but anything can happen, so don’t worry too much. There is so much joy in living right now, looking briefly ahead, but trying to get the most out of every minute.

Sometimes over-planning can wear us out. Suddenly, there is so much on our plate that we hadn’t planned for coming up to graduation. So, make notes of the most important things you need/want to get done and allow time to do the rest. Don’t fill your free-time double and triple checking your emails in case something new pops up that demands your attention. Enjoy the time you have left in college doing things that bring you joy. You deserve it after these four years of work.

Published by Emily Leegwater

Class of 2024 Hometown: Zeeland, MI Major: English; Creative Writing emphasis Minor: Studio Art

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