The Golden Year?

It’s senior year for some of us. Myself included. It’s the quintessential year of epic endings. The football team is supposed to win just because you’re a senior, you get the dream job, and everywhere you go there’s smiles and laughter.

Hold up.

Maybe it works that way for some of us. But it hasn’t for me as of yet. I’m actually having more of the “life-is-about-to-majorly-change-what-do-I-do” syndrome. They make senior year sound so glorious but quite frankly, it’s been a little more of a panic with a heavy dose of anxiety added on to it.

Because with graduation comes careers and moving away and something we’re not quite used to: the unknown plan. What do you mean there’s no more school? (This doesn’t apply to all you expectant graduate students who knew the plan before the plan).

But I write about happiness so let’s bring that back into the mix. It’s sounding a little evasive up until now. Because as a senior, happiness has been evading me to an extent. I’ve gotten so bogged down in what comes after the diploma that I haven’t been enjoying the process as much as I should.

So for all you seniors (and for those that will be, because you will soon enough) here are some Sunny Suggestions for keeping things fresh:

1. Shake it up: It’s easy to get in a rut. Same football stadium, same restaurants, the same events. What may have sounded like a ton of fun freshmen year may not cut it by the time you’re a senior. Redefine your experiences—make every year unique in it’s own way, not a better version of the year past.

2. Reach out to new people: It’s never too late to start making new friends. Make the great ones stronger and let the growing get going. Even though it may be challenging to initiate, put yourself out there. You won’t regret it.

3. Keep talking: I’ve been keeping my stress to myself. The simmer turns into a boil if you’re not careful. Continue talking to friends not just about the small talk, but about the serious issues that face you after graduation. Seeks mentors and ask as many questions as you can. You don’t have to make big decisions alone.

4. Look forward to the future: In moderation. We can’t forget the time that we still have in college. Some say it’s the best time of our lives. I beg to differ (I like to think life can keep getting better) but yes, these are definitely some golden years. Bask in it while you can.

5. Come to terms: Accept that some things didn’t happen the way you thought they would. It’s ok. Chances are something better emerged in a different aspect. Find gratitude even from those tests that you felt have been more tortuous than anything else (and I’m not just referring to exams).

So whether you’re a senior or you’re just starting out, I think we can relate to these ideas no matter where we’re at in life. We’re always adjusting, always changing. Let’s embrace it rather than fear it or miss it. There is happiness to be had in all occasions, all phases of life. Including senior year and yes, graduation.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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