Senioritis And The Quest To Find Fun

I started writing this post in class, which really should be testament to how severe my Senioritis already is. I even like the class and it’s difficult to focus. Maybe that’s because Buddhism has absolutely nothing to do with graduate school applications, except for that they both remind me that life is a continuous cycle of suffering.

I have one semester left at my university, as I’m graduating early. Come December, my undergraduate career will be over and I will have at least 6-7 months in which to do not much of anything… Yeah I’ll have a job, maybe even two, but will that be fun? Not really, unless I get involved with some research project, which would be cool, but unlikely.

I have only a dozen or so weeks left, and since my class schedule isn’t particularly demanding (in addition to Intro Buddhism I’m taking judo), my duties as my sorority Treasurer are dying down, recruitment is largely over, and I can only work at my job but so much, I don’t have much to occupy my time.

Here, freshmen who are often used to being the big fish in a little pond back in high school, get thrown into an only slightly bigger pond with about 6,000 other big fish. Academics are the priority here, but having a high grade point average or SAT scores will not have the admissions committee swooning. Extracurriculars increase you chances of admission significantly; the more the merrier. It’s actually a little ridiculous. However, after admitting all of these eggheaded, highly competitive, and often socially awkward 18-year-olds, the school has to give us things to DO. Because, ya know, we’d be “bored” otherwise. And also probably go out and get fake IDs to drink away our academic sorrows at the three (now four) bars in walking distance. Hence the Activities Fair (which I’m sure all universities have in some capacity or another), which is held in our basketball arena (capacity approx. 8,000). Now you may be wondering why I’m telling this long, drawn out story about college life, but just bear with me.

At the Activities Fair, there are rows of tables laid out into many aisles, with each student organization getting its own table. As an upperclassman I’ve manned a few of these tables. It’s deafeningly loud, and there’s often a crush of bodies around you save for in the upper tiers where the less popular clubs (read: too lazy to get their reservation paperwork in on time) are sequestered. We claim to have over 400 clubs and student-run organizations on this campus – though I have to admit the “Collegiate Tea Drinkers’ Society” is pushing it a bit in terms of legitimacy. Freshmen idle and push their way up and down the looong rows of tables, entranced by the myriad possibilities in front of them. And so, as you may suspect, everyone signs up for everything. I think at my first Activities Fair I put my email on the listservs of upwards of 20 or so organizations. Science Fiction and Fantasy, Voices for Planned Parenthood, Pep Band, Society for Paranormal Investigation, multiple AIDS awareness and relief service trip programs, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, our LGBTIQ advocacy group, Bhangra, Beledi, Japanese Cultural Association… I think you get the point. I had BIG plans.

Two weeks later I’m pulling my hair out in frustration because I get emails multiple times a week from every organization I even had a remote interest in. I’d never had this many emails in my life! And so, I learned how to remove myself from the listservs and pared my campus involvements down to about two. For three years, I had no problems with that, but now…

What am I supposed to do with my time that’s running out? I’ll never have an undergrad experience again, and I feel like I’m missing out on so much! I’ll never get a chance to help put together a magazine focused on promoting and destigmatizing female sexuality. I’ll never get to hand out cupcakes to promote awareness of starvation in Africa (Irony? I could never really tell). The clock is ticking and I feel like I have so much left to do.

And so, in an attempt to get involved with new and fun organizations on campus, another senior friend and I decided we would go to a club meeting for a group called Cypher. It was supposed to be a gathering of slam poetry, break dancing, free styling, as well as other forms of spoken word performers. My friend and I both love slam poetry, so we figured we’d go, listen, maybe learn a few things, then decide if we wanted to really get involved. So we show up (to the outdoor meeting place, sketch as fuck) and there’s literally three dudes standing there. Thankfully I knew one of them and we stopped to chat, see what was up. He told us that he and his crew were apparently supposed to perform (break dancing), but he didn’t know where they were, or if there was even a set of speakers available. Yeah. Super legit, amirite?

So we left. My friend and I were both embarrassed together, but also pretty disheartened. We wanted to get involved, but honestly, finding and meeting new people who have already established friend circles is pretty daunting. Seniors don’t really mix well with freshmen – it’s just a fact. We have totally different college impressions at this point in the semester. Seniors are generally jaded, and any advice we give to freshmen has to be taken with a grain of salt. And with that jaded outlook, we make it hard to open ourselves to new experiences again. We’re so afraid of graduation, of the “real world,” that we forget to appreciate the time we still have to live it up in college.

I’m not really scared of graduation so much as I am of missing out, and I’m not really sure where to turn except inward and focus on myself and my own academic pursuits. I guess that’s just going to have to be enough. So…

This is just gonna have to be the motto.

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