In two weeks time, I will begin my senior year of college.
That just might be the scariest sentence I have ever written. Wait! I’m not ready to be a senior! Don’t you need a license for that or something? In ten years when I have my life all figured out (haha….ha….) this anxiety will probably seem ridiculous. And in truth I’m not thinking about it that much as I’m still in a bit of summer-vacation-denial.
The only advice I remember getting from previous seniors is: don’t be a senior. Well, that’s comforting. Not much I can do about that now, except perhaps drop out (can’t imagine trying to explain that to my Pomona alum parents). Why so scary? I suppose “senior in college” just sounds so much older and more sophisticated than I imagine myself to be, and of course “senior” implies “will be graduating soon and moving on to the real world” (eek!).
It’s also a bit intimidating because in some ways I feel like I just got here. Wasn’t it yesterday when we came as freshman and everything about Pomona was rosy and summer camp-like? Then again I’ve come a long way since fall of 2009. I mean, back then, I didn’t know what I was going to major in, or how to do my own laundry. I hadn’t yet been to Israel and South Africa, or figured out that the library café has the best muffins on campus. And I’ve definitely learned a lot here at Pomona, such as the ever-useful skill of balancing a fork with my pinky while holding a plate and cup to navigate the dining hall. I suppose I don’t feel like a first-year anymore—now my younger sister is the freshman in college, and all I can think of when I hear Class of 2016 is that by then the Summer Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro. I don’t exactly need to relive my sponsor-group days, but I do not feel quite like a senior. Yet.
The other scary thing about senior year, and what makes this year different from all other years is that as-yet unidentified flying object hanging over my head. See it? Up there? Yup: thesis. Never have I ever written anything that long or complicated before. I’m sure I will survive it, but in the meantime, cheers for many many more hours in the library.
Not everything about being a senior is intimidating, though. There are definitely perks to being at the top of the totem pole (hello, earliest registration times!) and I’m determined to get to everything I want to see or do at in Claremont before the year is out. For instance, I still haven’t made it up Mt. Baldy or to the Shakedown at Pitzer. Everything may not be new and exciting, but there is still a lot to explore. Plus there are annual events like SCAMFest and the International Festival that I cannot wait to enjoy again. I want to make every glorious moment count.
…Before I go off to grad school and become a freshman once again.