Everything you need to do this summer so you survive your senior year of college

Summer prep for the final steps

Welcome to the beginning of the end. It has commenced: the final summer; a time to gather round and mourn the imminent demise of our college years amid low-lit candles and the Jaws soundtrack “dun-dun-dunning” as background noise. To set the scene there will be tears, tissues, and high levels of stress over our entrance into “the real world.”

OK, OK. That may sound a bit dramatic.

Things may not actually change as drastically as we think while heading into senior year… just so long as we brace ourselves. We must garnish our strengths and make our own metaphorical suits of armor to survive the final year of college and (fingers crossed) leave bearing a diploma.

Need some guidance on how to properly survive your senior year? No need to sweat, advice is on the way.

Build up your strength

It seems like exercise is always at the top of lists regarding “things one should do” (which one then never does) so why break tradition? However, exercise is now a necessity for survival. How so you may wonder? Well let me paint you a picture. It’s thesis writing season and you find your fingers cramped at page six and eyelids drooping by 2 a.m. on a Tuesday. You’ve left yourself unprepared my friend. Instead, start adjusting now to the academic olympics by training with finger exercises and eyelid blinks. Muscle memory is key these days; you’ll thank yourself during the first all-nighter of the season.

Stock up

This means snacks up on snacks up on snacks, because stress eating is a real thing. Invite over your dear old friends Ben and Jerry for a nice date night or stock up now for your upcoming hibernation in the fall. Watch out freshman 15, because senior 16 is coming in hot. Not to mention, you should also buy up all the caffeine-filled, sugar-rich drinks while supplies last.

Get some air

For real though. Prep for your imminent fate of stifled studying as you’ll soon be stuck inside on a bright sunny day. Enjoy the fresh air while you can, and even consider bottling some up— you never know what kind of business ventures are sure to strike up next. Alternatively, come clad with paper bags and breathing exercises that may be key to help through the panic of one’s final year. Deep breathing is a skill we all must acquire.

Get spirited

Now’s the time to wear your school merchandise all day, every day because soon… you’re only an alum— scary thought huh? Haven’t already been rolling out of bed and strutting to class in college brand sweatpants? First off, why not? Second of all, you better start. This is your last chance to do so before gearing up in blazers, ties, and dress shoes for “the real world.”

Buy some new war paint and battle gear

Speaking of real world attire, you better go get some! This includes make-up and/or business casual clothes for those upcoming interviews; these are the must-haves for adulthood and ’tis the season for finding a job. Not a bad excuse to go shopping and reinvent your fashion sense.

Gather up the dorm and apartment décor

Because if it’s the last time in a while that you won’t be living in your parents house, why not live it up? Hit up your local thrift store and Homegoods, and have at it. Just don’t think too hard about how in just a few months that retro beanbag chair and overpriced wall-hanging will be sitting dormant in your parents garage. It’s fine; they’re worth it anyway, right?

Now, just do it

Here’s the real advice, brought to you via this article and potentially the next Nike commercial that comes on TV.

The truth is, you are going to be fine. Senior year is creeping up fast and so is the future, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be scary or strange. In fact, we have come all this way for a reason and are prepared as such. So, just do it. Study, go out with friends, attend classes, and take the final few months in stride.

The last days are upon us, but it’s simply the end of this chapter in our lives. You’ve all got what it takes to survive.

UMass Amherst