It’s that time again. The time of the senior freak-out.
Everywhere I go, seniors talk about how things feel different. Attitudes have changed, once-loved places and people have become merely added stressors on top of school work and job applications.
For seniors, even if you’re not too worried about what’s coming next, or you’ve already gotten into your grad school of choice, or secured a cushy job, the final semester invariably changes you.
It’s inexplicable, we say. But we all confess to feeling a little different, a little off, affected by something. We can’t get into a groove (and it’s not just the snow days throwing us off).
And to a certain extent, it is inexplicable — or, at least, we certainly want to believe that it is. But there may be a broader explanation.
When we reach the end of any good thing, we have a tendency to want to squeeze the most out of it — no regrets, we say, just all-out fun. But when our desperation to extract the good overcomes our inclination to just enjoy the ride, things get less enjoyable. Even the things we used to love become old. We are not fulfilled by the things that once sustained us.
And that is frustrating. We think something must be wrong because we’re supposed to be enjoying ourselves, and it frustrates us that something feels wrong and is causing our diminished joy. And that frustration creates even more. And just like that a vicious cycle takes us away from the end of an enjoyable ride.
I thought these things wouldn’t affect me. But on my way back to Wheaton from winter break, I found out differently. No matter your attitude, the final spring leaves you feeling a little lost, a little lacking. My hope is that if we can recognize that, we can enjoy the last few beautiful months of our time here.
It’s been quite a ride. And I’m inclined to think the best is yet to come.