Senior Year: Balancing Freak-outs with Beautiful Days

This is my senior year. Wow. I still have moments walking past my freshmen dorm in which I feel transported back to my first days here–the days when I thought “what fool believed I was ready for this?”–and yet now it’s hard to believe I am soon supposed to be ready to leave.  Come May, I know I will be ready to leave, or at least prepared, because William and Mary has given me so many skills, so much knowledge, and so many incredible people for support.  But the thought of this year ending is still….Wow.

I think back to my senior year of high-school, and I remember how much stress, angst, and exhaustion was involved with leaving that known world.  I even blogged about how difficult the college decision was for me. And now once again, as a  college senior, I am faced with the decision of what to do next. So if there’s one thing that I am certain of it’s that this year will be stressful! I will freak out multiple times about the choices I’ve made these past years here, and I will make many lists weighing the options for the future. I will be afraid of what comes next and of not being ready for what comes next.  The rational part of my brain will do its best to remind me of all those skills and support systems and networks I’ve developed, but sometimes the rational part of my brain will lose out to the screaming part of my brain that just says: “I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE—AHHHH”

(deep breath)

Knowing those freak-outs will happen, my goal for senior year is to be as intentional and focused as possible on enjoying the wonderful adventure that is my last year at William and Mary. The stress will take care of itself, I want to focus on the not-so-stressful but oh-so-amazing experiences left to be had.

I explained my intentions to an alum recently and she shared a little system she had when she was a Senior. Every day when she and her friends would meet, they would say to each other “It’s a beautiful day” as a reminder that amid all of the stress and overwhelming choices of senior year, they could still enjoy the beauty of any given day.  I’ve adopted this little habit and shared it with my senior friends as well. For a while it became a competition–who could tell the others “It’s a beautiful day” first–but now it has settled into just a small reminder text or email for us all to enjoy the many beautiful days of senior year.

I am a Senior at the College of William and Mary, and I hope that amidst all the stress and choices of the future involved in your life, you will join me in knowing it’s a beautiful day.

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