At the beginning of my senior year of college, I've noticed a lot of pros that come with being at the top of the hierarchy: Freshmen look up to you and believe all of the advice you give them. You no longer have to wander aimlessly in search of your acting classroom hidden deep within the confines of the student union. You have all of the insider knowledge of the campus. Nothing comes as a surprise anymore, and you can literally strut down the quad because you aren't self-conscious about your pajamas anymore. We're SENIORS now. We can handle anything. Am I right or am I right?
Um. Not really.
As seniors, the looming fear of the future presses upon us every, single, freakin' DAY. Premed students are interviewing left and right. Some classmates who are applying to grad school are taking the GRE tomorrow (Good luck Drew!), and people like me who aren't going the traditional route have to stay on top of our own game figuring out which applications to fill out and when. On top of THAT, many of us are still trying to sustain active lives within our favorite extra-curriculars, and oh, I forgot...we have normal schoolwork to keep up with as well.
So how do we stay sane and remember that the future isn't as scary as it seems?
To illustrate how I answer this question, let me share a passage about an assignment that Jesus gave his disciples in the middle of his career:
"And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in their belts--but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
And he said to them, 'Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.' So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them." (Mark 6:7-13 ESV)
So, here are four points on a little perspective for our senior predicament:
1. We're All In This Together.
Look around you. If you see underclassmen, be happy that you've come so far. If you see fellow seniors, know that they're trying to figure things out too. If they seem like they have it all together, chances are they're doing a really good job at hiding what other insecurities they feel. No one is perfect. Some people are better planners than others, but no one who cares about you will leave you in the dust. When we need encouragement, talking to a friend, our parents, or a mentor is one of the best remedies out there. You are not alone.
2. You Are Enough.
What possessions do you have with you right now? In a dorm room, you may have all that you own at school with you. If you're studying at the library (and being more productive than me writing this blog post), you probably have a little less with you--just a backpack and some valuables.
Now imagine you're running in the desert with Ki Hong Lee in 'The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials.' The last Crank that just sneaked up on you pulled off your backpack, leaving you with nothing but what's on your body. You're running for dear life.
Jesus would probably be impressed that you don't even have a staff.
My point is, nothing that you have done, and nothing that you will achieve can add or take away from WHO YOU ARE. You're worth fighting for, and your dreams are worth dreaming simply because they're YOURS.
3. Don't Get Attached
We are so young. Chances are many of us will end up in careers that we didn't even know existed. Even though we're applying to things and trying to figure out what we want to do with our entire lives, the truth is, the next thing will ever only be a PART of the journey.
Things won't go the way you expect, so spare yourself some heartache and realize how much potential you have in multiple capacities. Be open-minded for yourself, and remember that closed doors are often blessings in disguise.
4. Make Your Mark
You are talented. You are beautiful. And you are capable of so much. Whether you're hoping to become an actress like me, a teacher, a social worker, a lawyer, a doctor, or anything in between...I believe that we all have the power to heal people through our work. Whether it's physically, psychologically, spiritually, or emotionally, we all have the potential to influence other people's lives, no matter how small. With our decisions, acts of kindness, and investments, we can make a big difference together.
So there you have it! A short list of four things to keep in mind about how Senior year of college...is actually going to be our best year yet!
Shine on! XOXO