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Bigger Pictures: Senior Unease

“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.”
     ~  William Arthur Ward

Bluenose_Sails_Away_-_1921

Hello, Seniors.
Welcome to the beginning of the end.
First, there’s no need to freak out.
Not that you would.
I mean, whoever heard of a Penn student freaking out over school.
I know, I know, that was a bit of a cheap shot. 
So, please, allow me to beg forgiveness.
Thank you.

Now that we’re friends again, let me just say that you Senior Year Unease is typical.  It happens to lots of people.  It happened to me.

The first way Senior Unease manifested itself in me was with classic Senioritis:  ditching classes.  I messed more classes in my last semester of Senior year than all my other semesters combined.  I suddenly lost the will to stay up all night to finish a paper (okay, fine, stay up all night to start and finish a paper) and make it to 8:00 class.  And besides, the weather was really nice that spring, and I caught more than a few naps under a sugar maple on the quiet side of campus.  Those naps represent my fondest memories of my Alma Mater.

And then there was my recurring nightmare, the one where I find out at the last minute that I’m one course shy of graduation.  I got two words for you, friends:  cold sweat.

What I’m trying to get at here is that your Senior Unease is not atypical, and is not unique to your generation of soon-to-be graduates.  Change comes whether we want it to or not, whether we are ready for it or not, and change is at the heart of Senior Unease.  What is unique – what will be unique – is how you will experience it.  In other words, you probably won’t take to sleeping on campus lawns like a vagrant, or develop night terrors.  So, bonus for you.

On the other hand, there is no sense in deliberately courting Senior Unease.  So try to be mindful of a couple things.

  1. First, treat your job search like a class [UPENN CAREER SERVICES].  And get started early in first semester.  The longer you put it off, the larger it will loom in your head. If you need help working your job search into your schedule, we’re here to help in that regard.
  2. The other thing:  Plan to have fun.  Don’t forget to enjoy your final lap.  Formals, semi-formals, Feb Club – you don’t have to do everything, but you need to allow yourself to do some things that are fun, to be with your Penn people one more time.FranklinField
So take it easy. 
Change is the constant.

Staff Writer: Pete Kimchuk, Senior Learning Instructor

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