senior year

Link Love Wednesday: Ashton Kutcher and Rejection

ashton kutcherThe past few weeks at work have been completely packed, as we gear up for the fall semester. From a football kickoff luncheon to several all-day tabling events, I’m loving my job but completely ready to unwind with some Link Love. What are some of the fabulous articles and blog posts you’ve been reading lately?

The Weekend Five: Facebook Posts from a Graduating Senior

deepest-condolences-graduation-ecard-someecardsAs I’ve mentioned in my four most recent blog posts, I am officially a college graduate! Of course, this means that hundreds of my nearest and dearest acquaintances are also now college graduates, proudly announcing this accomplishment through the platform we love best – social media. Throughout the month of May, my Facebook news feed has been teeming with posts revolving around graduation, new jobs and above all, the “memories.”

For every graduating senior, there are five Facebook posts to look out for on your own news feed. (Tweet this!) If you haven’t posted at least one of these yourself, then you are probably doing something wrong! :)

The Weekend Five: Facebook Posts from a Graduating Senior

1. “I need an extra ticket to Saturday’s graduation ceremony. Help!”
These statuses are everywhere and they are by far my least favorite! Because some universities limit the number of guest tickets that students can receive for commencement, students from big families or with a lot of supporters tend to posts these statuses within the month leading up to graduation. After a while, I stopped reading notifications from certain groups I belonged to on Facebook because I knew they would consist solely of ticket requests. (Besides, if I actually had extra tickets, don’t you think I would have used them to take additional family members, friends or my boyfriend to graduation?)

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2. “I picked up my cap and gown! It feels so surreal.”
Sure, we wore them at our high school graduations, but picking up our graduation gear in college seems so much more important. Once you have that enormous gown and the mortar board cap, you’re pretty much ready for that diploma. Naturally, of course, at least 20 of your friends will feel the need to post something about it, so get ready!

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images3. Nostalgic status about the past four years.
Whether this person decided to repost photos from freshman year or recap the past four years through an incredibly long Facebook status, you’re bound to find plenty of nostalgia on social media in May. Facebook becomes an incredibly bittersweet place where we can gush about the best four years of our lives and the amazing friends we made and all the opportunities that brought us to this very moment. (Believe it or not, in spite of the profound effect that college had on me, I still haven’t quite posted my obligatory nostalgic status about the good old days. I’ll have to work on it!)

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4. Congratulatory posts from friends and family of graduates.
Let’s not forget about your friends who aren’t graduating! Those friends will mainly be posting congratulatory statuses and perhaps photos with someone they know who graduated, but they are just as wrapped up in the Facebook madness as those who have graduated. Usually with great achievements come great support, so look out for those tagged posts on your news feed as well.

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5. Photos of everyone in front of the same buildings and university landmarks.
As much as I enjoyed taking my graduation photos, I’ll admit that plenty of them had cliché written all over them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! At every university, there are certain iconic buildings and landmarks that everyone will want to take a photo next to, so prepare yourself for multiple pictures with the same exact backgrounds. At my university, we are only allowed to set foot in the pond outside the library during Homecoming, so naturally I (and everyone else I knew) had to take pictures standing in the pond in my cap after I was finished with graduation!

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What sort of posts have you come to expect from graduating seniors?

Link Love Wednesday: Graduation Edition

imagesI graduated from college on Saturday (look out for an upcoming post about it!), and as I prepare to begin my first full-time job next week, I look forward to a lot of the changes I am about to experience. Of course, with every monumental life event comes at least a twinge of nostalgia, and I can credit my university for giving me the best four years of my life thus far.

Some of this week’s articles and links are geared toward graduating seniors in particular, while others are merely meant to make you think or smile. What have you been reading lately?

Enjoy this week’s link love, and feel free to share your own favorites in the comments section below!

What Senior Year of College Really Feels Like

I’m reaching the end of my second-to-last semester as an undergrad, and it seems that almost everyone I know (myself included) is going through a major quarter-life crisis. This year has brought with it a mix of emotions for many of us that are unlike anything we’ve experienced before, as we urgently question what we want to do when we graduate and struggle with the idea of what it means to grow up.

Often in high school, senior year ultimately boils down to a prom dress, a few questionable hairstyles, a last-minute SAT exam, the wait to hear back from college admissions, and the hope that your one guy “friend” will decide he’s crazy about you and, in a gesture as grand as any high schooler can imagine, send you carnations on Valentine’s Day. (Later on, of course, you forget the exact breakdown of your SAT scores, discover that your high school crush was interested in men the entire time, and recognize that prom was never a defining moment in your life as pop culture would claim it to be.) Although it feels incredibly important and all-consuming at the time, senior year of high school eventually fades into a distant memory that you’ll later claim to have hated all along.

College, meanwhile, becomes an exciting time of self-discovery and opportunity. You meet the friends who make you feel infinite, join organizations, and attempt to figure out what you’re good at and how to develop yourself professionally. You still fall for the types of guys your parents warned you about when you were in high school, only now they own suits and are a little harder to identify at first glance.

Senior year is a new ballpark, because while college itself is a glamorous night downtown with your best friends, senior year is a mess of emotions and scribbled-out schedules and lunch plans canceled in favor of finishing that last paper. Senior year is that moment when you realize that you might be too old to wear heart-shaped sunglasses or your Holly Golightly tiara in public, but you still store them in your closet with the quiet hope that maybe you can put them on one day when no one is looking. It’s the time when you stop accepting the advances of guys who only text you after 10 p.m. because – dammit – you’re an intelligent, complex individual who deserves to be taken to a nice restaurant or museum once in a while. Your most used topics of conversation with friends, family, acquaintances and the guy in the checkout counter at Publix? 1. Post-graduate plans (or lack thereof); 2. Where to buy business casual clothing; 3. “I AM SO STRESSED OUT RIGHT NOW.” In fact, your stress is both a source of pride and a source of grief for you.

I firmly believe that senior year of college comes with all of this craziness because it is a time of transition in our lives. We are uncertain of what the future holds, so we start to look backward with a mix of nostalgia and regret as we attempt to decipher the past four years of our lives. Perhaps four years from now we will look back at college in the same superficial snapshots with which we look back at our high school years today. Perhaps we’ll wake up one day and things will suddenly make sense, or maybe we’ll simply need to do a little more self discovery to figure out what it is we were meant to do.

From one college student to the next: I hope you are surviving your senior year and cherishing every memorable moment it has to offer.

The Prom Obsession

Everybody’s talking about it. Where did you get your dress? Are you going in a limo or party bus? Who are you going with? My prom was two years ago, and yet wherever I go, prom is all I hear about. There’s a brand new movie dedicated to it, and why? All of my 90’s romantic comedies already feature a huge prom storyline, usually involving a nerdy girl and the Brad Pitt of high school, so I’m not sure why Disney felt a need to create a brand new movie on the subject.

Our modern culture tells us that prom night is the one night where you can feel like a princess at a ball, with Prince Charming on your arm. The night is supposed to be magical — that perfect evening when everything falls into place. Anyone who chooses to miss out on such a night is obviously crazy.

Looking back, I realize how meaningless it all really was. As someone whose friends forced her to go to prom, I can still remember all of the desperate arguments that “You’ll regret not going!” So I did shop for the dress (which, I’ll admit, was gorgeous) and had my hair styled for the occasion, but the dance itself was easily a disappointment. Two years later, I can recognize that prom was one of the least defining moments in my high school career.

Even more revolutionary was realizing how little high school means to me now. Yes, I did meet a few of my closest friends there (and I am not discounting them!), but for the most part, high school became a series of mental snapshots that I rarely look through now that I’m in college. When you’re young, two years can mean a lifetime, and now that such time has passed, much of my high school experience feels like part of someone else’s life, not mine.

A good friend of mine at college often argues that I must have been one of the cool kids in high school, which always makes me laugh. Much like now, I was a huge nerd — but at the time, I was a nerd who knew very little about herself or anything else. I don’t remember there being a stereotypical “cool” clique to begin with, and while a glance through my yearbook brings back to mind an overload of memories and gossip, high school itself is not something that shapes who I am now.

I hope that any high school students who aren’t enamored with the experience will realize that life gets a whole lot better, and that the things that drive you crazy now probably won’t mean much to you in the future. Soon enough, the story about the boy who broke your heart before Homecoming will seem funny, you’ll forget about the various cliques and prom night will become one of those mental snapshots that won’t have a major impact on you.