Senior Year Scaries: The Final Summer Vacation
College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Senior Year Scaries: The Final Summer Vacation

How to make the most of your final summer... before adulthood hits.

Congrats! You made it through the seemingly endless amount of work that junior year of college happily bestows on all of its attendees.

It was probably one of my hardest years of college academically, but I am proud to say that I made it out alive. After all the end-of-finals-week celebrations, I happily packed up my things and mentally prepared for a summer by the beach, with no plans bigger than what swimsuit I was going to sport for the next four months.

Ah... the joys of long college summer vacations.

About halfway through my packing, however, I came to the frightening realization that this summer vacation will be my last. For the past 16 years, all of us have been lucky enough to have a three to four month break between responsibilities to sleep-in, go to the beach, and stay out late whenever we want. Unfortunately, in a year from now, this luxury will be taken away forever, leaving us in the real world lost and confused.

Here are some tips on making the most of this final summer and getting over the scaries of senior year:

1. Work a job you actually like.
There's nothing worse than spending half of your summer at a dead-beat job that you hate going to every day. Yes, some of these jobs may make you a lot of money, but the reality is that you probably won't be working there in a year.

Use this last summer of freedom as an opportunity to work that part-time job that inspires you or is just plain fun to be at. It's probably one of the last lowkey jobs you will have; adulthood is coming.

2. Make time for all of your friends, even if this means traveling to see them.
Odds are, you will not be seeing most of the people from your college post-graduation. This is the last time you can do crazy stuff with them, without the constraints of a 9-5p.m. job. You have the time now, use it wisely!

3. With that said, get up before noon once in a while!
Yeah, I know it feels good to sleep in everyday, but honestly, that's just going to take away from the free time that summer vacations give you. Pick at least two days a week to go hiking early, take a trip into the city, or just enjoy a morning cup of coffee for the pure bliss of it.

You'll thank me later.

4. Get in that exercise routine you've been thinking about.
If you've been at it for a while, a routine will be much easier to maintain once your schedule fills up.

5. Visit your family.
Next year at this time, you could be relocating to a whole new state or country for a job that you thought you could only dream of having. Make use of this free time to travel and see those who have supported you throughout all these years of school.

6. Spend your money on experiences.
Concerts, road trips, food tours - anything you want. Just do something that gives you more value than buying a cute outfit for an overflow of insta-likes. Again, you will thank me later.

Finally, gear up for one of the best years of your college experience. I've heard its pretty rad.


Image Alt
College Life |  Source: ign.com

Thoughts All College Seniors Have As Told By Zoolander GIFS

But why college seniors?

I don't think this is right. How have three years already passed?

I'm actually freaking out right now.

Heading back into first semester, I'm ready for my senior year debut. I was the big thing during my underclassmen years.

And, now, I'm ready to show-off. All those classes, parties, and people I met taught me a lot. I'm a senior and I have a lot of different looks.

Back with the gang, and loving life! It's time to go out and get loud.

I gotta get all these wild nights out of my system while I can, if only for the stories, you know?

What is this shit? Bartons? I'm 21 years old now! I drink ~Svedka~

It's time to run shit on the beer pong and slap cup table. I didn't party nonstop for three years for nothing.

And that's how you sink cups, freshmen.

Wow, who are all these new boys? Freshmen? They're so hot right now.

Wait, I'm not the hot freshman girl anymore? Am I a SWUG? Not OK with this.

What do these underclassmen girls think they are doing going out in 5-inch heels? Who are they trying to impress?

Freshmen girls get the freshmen and senior boys? Who do they think they are? You know what? I'm out of this themed mixer and headed to the bar for the rest of the night.

When did I start getting hangovers? I can't deal with this day-after shit.

School is just starting and it feels like everyone already has a job lined up, except for me. I see all your judgmental stares.

But like, what am I supposed to do? Where am I going? What's about to happen after I graduate?

What is a phone interview? And why does it involve a phone? I don't even know how to use one of those things.

Maybe there is more to life than college parties and trying to get a job afterwards that makes as much money as possible. But, then again, maybe not.

But on the other hand, a signing bonus looks pretty nice.

Why can't I get a damn job? Why is everyone so annoying? I need to get out of this place!


But then again, I kind of love this place.


Image Alt
College Life |  Source: @hannah.landman.1

Crying Through My Senior Year

Is college seriously almost over??

I did't realize that I was dreading my senior year until the day that it happened and it hit me pretty hard. My time in undergrad is coming to an end and it makes me want to curl into a ball and cry and wish that my tears could turn back time.

I realized I envied the little freshman, a thought I never thought I could have. They have four whole years left. They still enjoy staying up late, and the novelty of frat parties hasn't worn off for them. They are fresh from orientation and ice breakers and are so ready for the next chapter in their lives, while I on the other hand am reluctantly getting to the end of one. Serious bummer folks.

The worst part about it is that while I'm crying about leaving school, I simultaneously need to look for big-girl jobs and adjust to paying my own phone bill (yikes). After graduation I have to make new friends and I will have to seriously cut back on my Netflix binges (double yikes).

I have no idea how taxes work or how do something that isn't school. I need to start actually paying for my education, which means I will continue to be a broke human, but it isn't as acceptable as it is when you're a college student. I sincerely have no idea how to be an adult.

This year will of course be fun, but it will be a year full of lasts. My last first day, my last homecoming football game, my last Halloween that I can dress a little slutty while it's still appropriate.

I have nine months to live it up and do everything that I wish I had done in the past three years. I have this weird feeling that I want to go to more parties while also feeling like I'm a little too old for them. IF THIS IS WHAT BEING A SENIOR IS THEN I WANT NO PART OF IT.

But what can I do? Literally nothing. I guess if you need me you can find me in my bed crying until graduation. At which point I will put on a cap and gown, get my diploma, and then continue crying as I enter the workforce and (try to) become a functioning adult.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: Kevin Hale (edited)

Five Tips for Living Off-Campus for the First Time, Part 2

Oh look, a real house.

In part 1, I threw out 6 different tips to prepare you for living on your own for the first time. Now I'm back to throw out a few more I hope you find helpful. Maybe not as helpful as a toilet plunger, but still good.

Be mindful of bus routes when choosing a place to live.

This is especially important if you don't have a car. Even if you do, don't ignore it. Trying to find a parking spot on campus can be almost impossible sometimes and you don't want to be late because you were too lazy to take the bus. Besides that, parking permits are expensive af.

For my junior year of college I didn't live near a bus stop so I would park my car near one and take the bus to class. Be careful if you want to do this though, not all places are OK with people parking for hours on end.

Being loud as fuck at 1 a.m. is no longer OK, so if you can't keep it down you should probably look for houses instead of apartments.

In a dorm, it's not unusual for everyone to be up late either cramming or chilling. It's still not good to be so loud your suitemates can't sleep, but in the real world, most adults work in the morning and will complain to the landlord if you're running your vacuum at midnight or yelling with your friends at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday. Many cities also have noise ordinances too, and you can actually get fined just for being obnoxious.

Don't just compare size and rent, compare amenities too!

A lot of apartment complexes (and some housing developments) include amenities ranging from swimming pools and tanning beds to clubhouses and gyms. Apartment A may be cheaper than Apartment B, but Apartment B has a full gym and you need your early morning workouts. In a college town, many living spaces are student-oriented as well and will have events tailored specifically to student residents. One of the places I lived would have free pizza Fridays and monthly cookouts!

Don't be afraid to hold interviews for roommates.

You don't have to get all fancy. Just grabbing a coffee is enough to give you an idea of how you'll mesh together, as opposed to just showing the house and signing the lease right away. Everyone is on their best behavior (at least they should be...) when looking at places and probably aren't 100 percent themselves. Spend some one-on-one time with someone before you sign something with them if possible. Wouldn't you rather find out about their metal music obsession now than at 4 a.m.?

Last but not least...

MICROWAVE.

If you don't already have one (which you totally should) make that a priority. Same goes for a toaster, and basic kitchen items like a spatula and Pam. Chances are, you own none of these items and there is nothing worse than having food to make but nothing to actually make it with.

Living on your own is different for sure. You have much more responsibility, and if you're like me, you're the one who has to pick up the pieces if things fall through. Moving out of your dorm is the first step to being a real adult. Don't worry too much, though. Everyone does it and you can too. Sure, you'll mess up a few times, but it's all a learning experience.


Image Alt
College Life |  Source: awardsdaily.com

Summer Vacation as Told by Meryl Streep Movies

A month-by-month guide

With summer upon us, there is now a huge chunk of time before you'll be back on campus getting fucked up. With internships to stress about and beaches to drink on, there's a lot of shit to fit into one season. So leave it to Meryl to talk you through the highs and lows of your yearly holiday.

May - Sophie's Choice
Do you take the high-paying waitress job or do you do the relevant internship that pays shit? Do you live at home and commute, or suck it up and get a place in Brooklyn? The beginning of summer is filled with impossible choices and Streep is the queen of impossible choices. Once you figure all of this shit out, things will undoubtedly get better.


June - The Iron Lady
You are the boss. You're basically the pre-professional machine that you're parents always dreamed you would be. You're working that good 9-to-5 and then tearing shit up on the weekend. People know better than to fuck with you. Your deadlines are met and expectations are exceeded. Why can't you be this efficient during the school year?


July - Julie and Julia
Now that summer is in full swing, you can take some time and work on your culinary gifts. Things will heat up in the kitchen (and hopefully the bedroom, whaddup Stanley Tucci, you look great in this movie) and you'll be the hit of the office. Bring in those fancy cupcakes that are Pinterest inspired and enjoy the compliments you get all day.


August - The Devil Wears Prada
You've been away from school for a little bit too long and have become absorbed into your work. You're a little mean and catty, but you look great. People love to hate you and it's probably for the best that summer is ending soon. Enjoy your last moments of office life, because next up is another round of getting fucked up at college.

Bonus: Back to School - Mamma Mia
You're singing, you're surrounded by your friends, and you'll definitely bump into three guys you fucked way back when. Enjoy another year of school, you earned it!


Image Alt
College Life |  Source: isabelcastronet

How to Make This School Year the Best One Yet

Whether you're a freshman or a senior, make this year one to remember.

Whether or not you are beginning your first year of college, returning to the same school you attended last year, or starting somewhere new, now is the time to ask yourself, "How can I make this school year the best one yet?" Here are some tips...

Start a journal and/or blog.
Journaling/blogging may seem time consuming, boring, and pointless; however, it's an efficient way to de-stress and will be an ongoing scrapbook of your college years. Writing about events as you experience them will help you remember them. So buy a cute notebook before school starts, or get started on Wordpress or Blogger.

Join a new club.
Joining a club can be scary, but it's one of the easiest ways to meet people. And freshmen, that's the ultimate goal of the beginning of the school year. Even if you were part of a club last year, try a different one this year that you might've wanted to be a part of last year. Clubs are an awesome way to remain active on campus and to stay busy throughout the year.

Stay active in a scheduled manner.
Not everyone wants to be a student athlete in college, but most people don't want to slum around. This school year, consider joining a club or intramural sport, or an exercise class on- or off-campus. This way there is structure in your physical activity schedule, not just a "I'll go to the gym when I feel like it" mentality. Colleges offer a lot of fun activities, but check out what's around you too. Don't underestimate Zumba! It can make you work up quite a sweat.

Learn to balance going out and school work.
Seniors may tell you that it takes four years to figure this out, and they still haven't figured it out. The theory is simple: get your school work done then go out and enjoy yourself. The problem is, students tend to enjoy themselves too much and focus too little on their academics. This balance is an extremely personal balance to achieve; find out what works for you. But keep in mind, if your grades are slipping, you may want to reconsider going to those parties on the horizon.

Turn your phone off more frequently.
It is so easy to get glued to our iPhones these days only to scroll through Instagram and watch pointless Snapchat stories. This year, think about turning your phone off. A few hours during the day or at night without your phone can be extremely refreshing. You can get more done, and you'll be forced to interact with people the 'old fashioned' way (that is, face-to-face).

Get a job during the school year.
If your schedule allows, get a job on or off-campus. Work is work, but it's not studying or homework. Who knows, maybe you'll have a super cute co-worker! A part-time job will also come in handy in terms of replenishing your bank account.

Use a planner.
I'm not talking about iCal or an app on your phone. I'm talking about an organized and structured notebook. Writing stuff down in one place will get you in the habit of knowing what you need to do and not forgetting. Plus, a planner is the perfect place to doodle when you're bored in class.

Eat less at the dining hall and more in your apartment/room.
No, do not eat pizza or Chinese every night in your dorm. Do make your own food though! Dining hall food gets pretty boring fairly quickly. Learning how to cook and making your own meals is a healthier and more satisfying route.

Make an effort to connect with a professor.
Wouldn't it be great to have a professor that you could think of more as a mentor/friend/distant cousin? This school year really try and get to know a professor on a more personal level. Sit down with them over coffee, talk about the current book you're reading, do whatever to get to know a professor. It will make your life as a college student easier because you'll have a trusted resource in addition to a recommender when it comes to applying for internships and jobs jobs.

Write letters.
Getting mail from friends and family will no doubt cheer you up. But in order to receive mail, that often means sending mail. Instead of sending a text to your best friend, write him/her a letter about the last party you went to or the tough assignment you're working on. Nothing's more disappointing than an empty mailbox all year.

Hang out with different people.
Maybe you feel bored with the people you spend time with. Branch out and hang out with people you haven't gotten a chance to. They could be in your class, in your club, on your team, or just people you think you want to know. Meeting new people will help keep your social life feeling fresh and exciting.

College is what you make of it, and so is your school year. Obviously academics should be the number one priority, but having fun follows closely behind!