So what are you going to do with your life?

November 13th, 2014


Dear youngsters,


Don’t grow up. Don’t be a senior. Don’t do it. Please. I beg of you.


Find the nearest time machine, fountain of eternal youth or some magical Harry Potter knick-knack, and find some way to ensure you don’t get the dreaded, “Senior, it’s time to declare your graduation,” email. (This declaration of doom will cause you to run straight to the Inn Between and stress eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby.)


Hold on, I apologize for that brief moment of senior angst. I don’t mean to go all Peter Pan on you.


For all you fellow seniors out there who are going through what I’d like to call, “SAD” (Senior Anxiety Disorder), know that you are not alone.


Not sure if you have SAD? Common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headaches, vomiting, nonstop sentimental sighing, pounding pint after pint of ice cream and extreme aversions to the words “résumé,” “cover letter” and “elevator pitch.”


Warning: if you know a friend or loved one who might have SAD, avoid ambushing them with the question, “So what are doing with your life?” These seven little words may cause them to pass out in the middle of the quad, where their paralyzed body will be victim to the infamously voracious JCU squirrels.


Those who have SAD must be approached with extreme caution and care. They must not be startled with talk of deadlines, standardized tests or applications. They’ll figure it out on their own, so don’t add fuel to the fire. This will only increase anxiety, which will result in heart palpitations, breaking out into cold sweats and the urge to bolt out of class, run across the quad, hope they’ll begin to fly to Neverland and join the lost boys so they’ll never have to grow up.


To all you Type A, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed underclassmen out there who have every tiny detail of your lives mapped out, stop. Okay, I’m not discouraging you to have a plan. Plans are great and all, but don’t get too caught up and obsessed over one specific path.


Listen to one of your elders (Higl’s Squiggles), and live by all the dinky, but meaningful clichés those sentimental Nicholas Spark movies throw at you. Live life to the fullest. Try new things. Go on adventures. Don’t get too caught up in worrying about the future.


As Cher once said, “If I could turn back time,” I’d actually breathe once during my first three years of college and not obsess about my career and what my professors or friends thought was prestigious. I’d (here’s another cliché for you) live in the moment. I’d go out more (no, I’m not encouraging a Girls Gone Wild lifestyle). I’d put down my laptop and go climb on roofs of buildings with friends more often. I’d take spontaneous road trips. I’d go on more late-night Taco Bell runs.


Because eventually, the impending doom that they like to call “the future” is going to smack you right dab in the face (it’s called senior year). Then, you’ll be confronted with the most terrifying yet adrenaline-rushing decision of your life: choosing the path that makes you the happiest.


And you may experience dizziness, vomiting and full-blown symptoms of SAD, but you’re going to make it. You know why?


You’ll figure it out eventually. That’s what life is all about, right? Going through the journey of confusion, pandemonium and gaining 50 pounds after hours and hours of discernment with your main men, Ben and Jerry.


And heck, seniors, we’re 21 and 22. I have a good feeling most middle-aged people still don’t know what they want to do with their lives.


So why induce symptoms of SAD earlier than necessary?


Again, back to the clichés, but take life one day at a time, and know you are not alone.