5 Stages of a College Senior

confession bearIt’s confession time. Today an overwhelming pang of emotion hit me in the chest and my eyes started leaking uncontrollably. That’s right, I cried.

I’ve started to grasp the reality of graduation. Now all I want to do is wrap myself in a blanket, hide in my room and pretend my world isn’t about to change forever. I’m on the teetering edge between stages four and five of a graduating senior.

Much like the five stages of grief, there are five stages of a college senior.

1. Denial

Symptoms: feeling carefree, pure excitement, and looking forward to no more homework or exams.

This stage involves months of sitting on your ass, enjoying your senior status and half-heartedly looking for jobs to avoid making any real life decisions.

2. Guilt and Regret

biting nailsThis is when you start to realize the college lifestyle you’ve been living for the past four years isn’t going to translate over very well to life after college. You are a financial mess. The safety net of college is about to be taken out from right under you. And you have to start worrying about paying back all those student loans.

Warning: You may feel as though the wind has been knocked out of you. Try to keep calm.

3. Panic and Fear

This stage involves a lot of freaking out. You start to have this painstaking fear that if you don’t choose the right job/get the right job, you will be unhappy forever. You even start to consider graduate school in order to escape the real world.

At this stage it’s very easy for you to act irrationally. You are a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

4. Depression

At this stage your emotions are all over the place. You start to cry over the most random things. You call your mom just to hear her voice because she makes you feel safe. No matter how many times people tell you they understand how you feel, you don’t believe them.

This is probably the toughest one to get through.

5. The Upward Turn

Hope prevails! You realize you can’t achieve your dreams unless you take action. The motivation and confidence you lost in stage four comes back. You remind yourself to be patient and work hard. Everything will work out in the end.

What stage are you in? Do you have any advice or tips on  how to get through each of these stages? If so, leave a comment!

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10 Memes That Every College Senior (Any College Student) Can Relate To

I love memes. I will sit on Reddit for hours in the advice animals subreddit and stare at the screen all day long. I am the kind of person that goes on Pinterest for hours not to pin recipes and clothes like normal people, but who types in memes/someecards and has a field day. So I thought, why not do a blog in which I can incorporate these magnificent creations and make us all laugh? After all it’s Monday, and Monday’s are rough.

If somehow this is your first day on what I like to call the interweb machine, let me give you a brief overview before we jump in. In the simplest sense memes are photos (often of animals, babies or cartoons) that have funny captions on them. Each meme is associated with a particular character with it’s own traits. Some examples include: Success Kid, Bad Luck Brian and Lazy College Senior. Here goes…

1. As any college senior knows, you will ask at least 5-7 people if  1. They used the book 2. If it hurt their grade if they didn’t get the book, and 3. If they will let you borrow their book. We are crafty people. Lazy College Senior

2. I have one word for this meme: Seniortis. Sorry to all the professors out there, we know you hate us for doing this.

challenge accepted

3. My department is on the third floor. I go through this every day. I know you do too.

stairs

4. Anytime you find money/save money it is a success.

thrift shop

5. The saddest thing about graduating. When you get a real job you will no longer have the ability to sleep in.

hired

6. Every college student loves when this happens.

exam

7. When coming from a lower class background is helpful.

rich

8. We’ve all done this at least once.

bad luck brian

9. Why do we have such a fear of eating alone?

lunch

10. This happens to me way too often. You can replace Reddit with any other social media site you frequent most at.

reddit

Keep Calm And Carry On

The pressure is on when you are a college senior. This is the last year you can depend on your financial aid and loans to help pay your rent. Despite having senioritis, you have to stay on top of your classes because if you don’t you might not graduate. And you have to get used to selling yourself to people.

Because of this, we start to panic and freak out.  In honor of the British, I’m going to tell you some things you can do to keep calm and carry on.

keep calm and carry on

Photo from google images.

 1. Make to-do-lists

Making to-do-lists and crossing things off one by one helps you gain control. Every time you cross something off your list, it’s like your own little pat on the back. Even if you don’t cross everything off, it lends to a placebo effect to make it seem as if you accomplished a lot… a least that’s what it does for me. It calms me down and helps to get rid of mental clutter.

 2. Take deep breaths

We’ve all heard this one before, but do you actually do it? Before, during or after a stressful situation take time to have a moment to yourself. Close your eyes, inhale deeply, hold it and then exhale. Really get into it. It helps flush out negativity and brings your stress levels down.

Remember, “If you let negativity in, you have to feed it and hang out with it. Best not to let it in.”  –Unknown.

3. Start having dance parties by yourself because there is no reason not to

Dancing is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It’s fun, burns calories and it puts you in a good mood. Dancing in my room alone to Kesha, Beyonce and Macklemore sets me up for the day. My stress and worries disappear. So turn on some good dancing music, shake that booty and LET LOOSE.

Here’s a little video to get you started. Dance readers, dance!!! And remember, keep calm and carry on. 🙂

Weird Things That Start to Happen As a College Senior

Recently I read an article about weird things that start happening in your 20s. Pretty much everything on that list hit home in some sort of way, and in turn inspired me to write this blog. Which is why I’m calling it: Weird things that start to happen as a college senior.

1. All of a sudden people around you have their lives figured out 

By the time you’re a college senior there is a good chance you will have friends that are engaged and know people who own a home. (I’m serious. A guy in my personal finance class this interim owned a house and has stocks in a company.) All the while you’re still single, own several footie pajamas and spend countless hours looking at cat gifs on Tumblr.

2. Nostalgia takes over your life

Reminiscing about your freshman and sophomore years of college becomes a weekly activity. You know, back when your class load was still pretty light and things like the real world and paying back student loans seemed trivial. You find yourself spending hours flipping through old Facebook albums and sighing heavily as you notice that over the years your photos have turned more professional looking.

nostalgia

As you can see, I went from being carefree and young…to old and professional.

3. You become really good at math

And by this I mean that if someone asks you when school ends, you can give them the exact number of days, hours and seconds that are left until you graduate. In case you were wondering… I have only 34 days, 11 hours, 35 minutes and 3 seconds left (at the time I posted this blog).

4. Buying ‘grown up’ clothes is exciting

Finding stylish pencil skirts, blazers and work shirts becomes your new hobby. You go as far as creating a new board on Pinterest to home all of your finds. Wearing heels is something you look forward to, and the idea of doing your hair and makeup every day gets you giddy.

work clothes

Looking fancy.

5LinkedIn becomes your most used social media site 

You find yourself spending more time trying to connect with business professionals than your friends. You get excited when someone endorses you, and getting a recommendation from someone is the highlight of your week.

LinkedIn

5 Things I’ll Miss Most About College

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what I will miss most about college. I’ve narrowed it down to five reasons.

1. Breaks

Let’s just take a look at how many there are…  Thanksgiving break, Christmas break (at my school it can last up to six weeks if you don’t take an interim), spring break and summer break. Boy will I miss being able to have an excuse to lay around, be lazy and recoup and refresh my mind for weeks at a time.

2. The opportunities

What I love most about college is all the opportunities you get. You can join as many clubs/organizations as you want, get as many internships as you want, take a variety of classes, study abroad, do research with professors… etc.

I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I had. It has really helped me become the person I am today.

Opportunities

3. Free stuff/discounts

Ahhh, free stuff/discounts. One of the wonderful perks of being a college student. At my school I get free access to a huge gym which I love! If I need someone to help me write my resume, need a tutor… I can get all of that for FREE. I guess I technically pay for it, but whatever.

As a student you get to ride the bus for free, at certain participating restaurants I get a 10% discount and events on campus are usually free. It’s great!

4. The people

I’ve met some of my best friends while in college. Through my major, organizations I’ve been in, and campus jobs I’ve had. It’s all enabled me to meet all types of people, as well as have some great mentors.

All my professors, my bosses at work, my friends… I have some amazing people in my life because of college.

Friends

5. Time to explore

This one goes with number two. I came into college not knowing who I was, not sure of what I liked or wanted to do. These past four years I’ve been able to try new things, find out who I am and figure out who I want to be.

Thank you college, for everything you’ve done for me.

Conquering The Unknown

This week I had an “aha moment” of why growing up seems so scary. It’s because it’s part of  the unknown. Up until now a lot of us have never had an experience where we are completely on our own. So to us it seems frightening. But what I realized after this week, is that conquering the unknown is actually the greatest thing you can do. And you’ve done it before! Let me explain through a little story…

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been applying for jobs but not really hearing back from anyone. Then I got call to set up an interview for a job I applied for in Milwaukee. When I got the call I was really excited but also immediately stressed out for several reasons:

  1. I don’t have a car
  2. I had no idea how I was going to get down there
  3. I didn’t know where I was going to stay
  4. I don’t know my way around Milwaukee that well
  5. Interviews make me nervous
biting nails

Me when I’m nervous

I’m the kind of person that gets very anxious when there is a problem/hurdle that I haven’t yet found a solution for. I like having a plan. It’s just the way I am.  If you find me attacking my fingernails and biting them down to the core you know I’m in deep thought trying to sort something out in my mind. Haha. So like my usual self, that’s what I started to do until I came up with a plan.

  1. Bus was the best option, so I bought greyhound tickets down to Milwaukee
  2. I contacted my friend Kyle who goes to Marquette and he graciously agreed to let me stay with him for a couple of nights
  3. I looked up bus routes on how to get to my several destinations

I started to calm down once I had this plan, but I was still a little anxious because I had never gone down to Milwaukee by myself before and I had never taken a greyhound bus. I was afraid I would miss the bus, or get on the wrong bus, or get lost in Milwaukee…  But when the day finally came, I managed to figure my way out to the greyhound station and got on the right bus. Then, I started to laugh at myself.

I always do this, I thought. I make things bigger than they need to be. I think this is how a lot of us are as we grow up. Remember how nervous you were transitioning from middle school to high school? Remember how scary it was at first learning how to drive? Remember how frightened you were the first day of college?

theunkown2

All of these things seemed scary until you actually did them and then when it was no longer the unknown you realized it wasn’t that hard to do! As you grow up you slowly unlock more and more of the unknown and as you do it you realize you can make it on your own.

Realizing that makes me even more excited to embark on this journey. It makes me want to do even more things I haven’t done before so I can say I did it, and I did it all by myself. It’s all a part of growing up, and you know what? I’m ready.

3 Job Listing Sites to Check Out

We’re almost halfway through the semester already. Time is flying by. I know it’s the mid-semester crunch when school projects, exams and papers start to take over your life. BUT it’s also the time you should start looking for jobs. It’s a good idea to start revamping your resume, cover letter writing skills, and *gasp* to start looking for jobs.

I’m not saying you need to apply yet (you should really start applying) just start searching! Since I’m a journalism major I’m going to share some of the job listing sites that I follow regularly.

1. BigShoesNetworkBig Shoes Network

BigShoesNetwork is a job board and resource for entry to senior-level jobs that pertain to advertising, communications, graphic design, marketing, public relations, social media and web design & development.

Their market area includes Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

 
hoojobs2. Hoojobs

Hoojobs is a board that features jobs in the public relations, communications and social media fields.

This site posts openings from all over the nation! So if you’re not from the Wisconsin area this site might be better for you. Or if you’re looking to get out of Wisconsin definitely check this one out. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for more updates.

3. Simply Hired  Simply Hired

Simply Hired is an employment website that has job listings for every state in the United States and in 17 other countries including:  Australia, Belguim, Brazil, Germany and Ireland.  This site pertains to ANY FIELD.

To find a job listing you simply type in the keyword and locations to find jobs of your interest. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

If any of you follow certain job listing sites then share them with me too! 🙂

Panic And Freak Out

As a college senior I get asked a lot of this… What are you going to do when you graduate? Where are you going to live? Have you started applying for jobs?

When I hear these questions, I want to panic moonwalk myself out of the room. (New Girl reference). What if I don’t know?!? I know what you’re thinking. “She better figure it out soon, she has two months left.” Or “That’s not a good sign.”

Photo I found off of Brylarly Bishop's Tumblr Blog. It was posted on Dec. 18, 2012.

Photo I found off of Brylarly Bishop’s Tumblr Blog. It was posted on Dec. 18, 2012.

It’s not that I don’t have passions or goals in life. I do. I’m a very hardworking person.

I’ve always been really involved in school, I’ve had three internships, traveled abroad and been on honor roll for six semesters. The reason it’s not seven is because I was diagnosed with senioritis last semester. I barely missed the cut with a 3.38. Oh well.

I know I want to do something that combines social media, writing, photography, traveling, graphic design, public relations, event planning, TV hosting, video blogging, not-for-profit organizations and women’s rights. I know I want to make a difference in the world. But it’s hard to commit to one thing.

I love trying new things and I don’t know how to give that up.  I crave change. If I’m not moving and trying new things I feel really stagnant and unhappy.

College is where you’re supposed to figure out who you are and what you want to do. The problem is there are still so many avenues I have yet to explore! However, time is running out and I need to figure out my life ASAP. Then again, escaping to Neverland and never growing up sounds like a good idea too…

Do you feel this way? I’m hoping you do so I don’t feel quite so alone.

To end this post I’m leaving you with a video that one of my favorite vloggers, Brylarly Bishop posted. She describes exactly how I feel. Enjoy.

How to Stave Off Senioritis

Senioritis. It’s a common disease that strikes college seniors every year. Symptoms include: procrastination, laziness, a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude about school.

Other featured symptoms:

  •  An over-excessive wearing of sweatshirts and sweat pants/yoga pants.
  •  General dishevelment in your attire
  • Sleeping in class… if you make it to class
  • Chants along this line – “C’s get degrees!”senioritis

Main cure: Graduation.

It’s been 17+ grueling years since you started your academic career and you are in your last semester of it. You might have already mentally checked out of school. If we’re being completely honest, you’ve probably been skating by since fall semester because “C’s get degrees!” What we often forget is that one bad slip-up can ruin your chances of graduating.

Here’s a few tips on how to fight back the disease:  senioritis_fightback-01

  1. Go to class: Most professors give at least two unexcused absences for the semester. I understand that it’s really tempting to use these up… plus a few extra. Who cares about docked points, right? Don’t fall for it. Go to class! And while you’re at it, pay attention. Making yourself go will keep you motivated to stay on top of your work.
  1. Reward Yourself: Give yourself a goal to work towards for the night and then treat yourself. For example, when studying for an exam I usually reward myself with a 10-minute ‘app attack’ for every chapter I read. Pretty much, I allow myself to scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for 10 minutes.
  1. Get Organized: Get a planner and write down everything you need to do for that week. Check off things as you do them. This will boost your productivity. Plus, checking things off gets addicting. *Don’t just write stuff down and never look at it again. Your memory can fail you.
  1. Find Time For Relaxation: Don’t forget to make time for YOU. Carve out time every day to relax and have fun. Hang out with your friends, watch your favorite TV show… etc.

Those are some of my tips! What do you do to stave off senioritis?

The Countdown Begins

college-01When I was growing up, college was presented to me not as an option, but as an absolute must. My mother would always tell me, “Education is the key to success. You need to get good grades, go to college and then when you graduate find a good job.” I wasn’t about to argue with a woman that has her doctorate degree. Plus, I was all for the idea. I loved school and learning. I couldn’t wait until I could go to college.

Fast forward to the present. I am a college senior that will be graduating in May. I have three months until I’m pushed out of the safe haven of my campus and college community into the dreaded “real world”. Living in the academic world for the past 17 years, this terrifies me.

Some of my friends have already taken the plunge and are living the post grad life. Almost a year ago I watched safely from the sidelines as they embarked on their new journeys. Gladly knowing I wouldn’t have to deal with the fears, doubts and panics for a year, I told myself I was safe and not to worry. But dang does time fly! Unfortunately that time has run out and now it’s my turn.

Initially I wanted to start this blog to help guide myself through this emotional rollercoaster. I was also hoping it would help me prepare for life after college. But after talking to some peers that are on the graduation train with me, I came up with a different idea. I want this blog to be a community for us to share our experiences, fears, goals and as many tips/advice as we can to help ease us through this transition.

I promise to do my best to help with any questions you might have. How to look for jobs, what to expect… anything at all. All you need to do is tell me what you want to know. Or how you feel. There’s a good chance that I probably feel the same way. After all, we’re in this together. 🙂