An Open Letter to College Seniors

Summer is coming to a close and autumn is right around the corner, which means that the school year is starting back up. If you’re like me and went to a southern school, your friends are already heading back to their beautiful campuses to start a new year. With that being said, I decided to write this letter with my college senior friends in mind. Not only did I learn the most my senior year of college, but I am envious that they still get to live it and I want the best for them during this time. For those of you who know me, then you know why senior year was/is so important to me. For me, most of my growth happened during my senior year and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We only get four years- okay maybe 5 or 6 years as undergrad students. Once you graduate, life changes and you weirdly enough don’t have a valid reason to stay out all night on a Monday…To all of you heading into your last year of college, this very informal letter is for you.

Don’t get me wrong, academics and your graduating GPA are extremely important, actually VERY important. Always remember that you are actually paying for your education and you are at college by choice. My older sister told me that every time you skip a class, you lose eighty dollars; so I never skipped a class. Every time a friend hinted at skipping their class, I would sing that into their ear and remind them of the money they’re losing–not always effective on the exhausted college student. In my opinion, the social interaction, personal growth and changes that occur during your four years, especially senior year, are very important. College isn’t just about the classrooms and I wish everyone would realize that. I know some people who went to college and had essentially the complete opposite experience than I did. They will never get those years back and in my mind they missed the opportunity to make mistakes and take chances.

Growing up isn’t just about getting older, it’s about adding more positives to your life and letting go of the negatives. In college I added so much positive into my life, as well as getting rid of nearly everything toxic. There is an old saying that states if you’re not losing friends you’re not growing up, and this is perfect to apply to relationships during this time. You may have a best friend your first few years in college, but when senior year rolls around you grow apart. It’s completely okay because people grow apart and it’s just something that we have to accept. If you love something, go after it and always remember that you need to put yourself first. Take a chance and do what you haven’t yet done in college. I bet that there is a senior tradition that seems risky, but trust me, you should do it. What I wish for you is that you can look back at college and recall the crazy times you had with your friends. You will want to look back and remember not only the great education you received but also being a reckless twenty year old because like I said, once you graduate you have to at least pretend to be responsible. Something that I can’t stress enough is do everything you can and say yes as much as possible. Study with your classmates that you may not be friends with, get coffee with someone new, spend your weekends with people you normally wouldn’t. You are surrounded by such a diverse group of people, you should branch out and get to know them before your time at school is up. You truly have nothing to lose by trying something new– you might even surprise yourself.

Something that my senior year roommates and I did was create a bucket list before the school year started. It led to a very interesting senior year… but to me it was worth it. I will look back and remember the times I had with my best friends and the things I crossed off that bucket list to make senior year the crazy, wonderful ride that it was.

Importantly, it is 100% okay to not know what you want to do after graduation. Don’t stress over that all year because senior year is a ‘last hurrah’, stressing about the future should be at the bottom of your worries. Even as a post graduate I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life and like I said before, it’s okay.

Moral of this letter to all you seniors is that this is your last year, so you should have a happy balance of both academics and fun. Take chances, always say yes, and move on from your mistakes. Don’t stress about the little things in college; the arguments and disagreements will all pass and you will come out stronger in the end. Once you graduate it’s all behind you, both the good and the bad. So, remember to take lots of pictures and make lots of memories because before you know it you’ll be walking across that stage and entering the next chapter of your life.


Emily Riane