Every senior’s internal crisis after registering for their final college semester

The thought of graduation hit me like a brick

In May of 2016, I had just realized that my senior year of college would soon be upon me. I’d have one more year to make memories with some of my best friends, have some laughs, and work hard to get top marks in my classes.

Then, after a few short months, I’d finally have my bachelor’s degree in hand and could head into my future as an employable millennial. Even though these thoughts have been running through my mind for the past few weeks, I didn’t realize until just now how huge of a change that is until I registered for classes for the last time.

I will never be screwed over by Banner registration again. I won’t have to wake up at dawn to memorize a handful of random codes, cross my finger, and hope I have at least 12 credits.

I’ll never have to angrily shake my fist as registration crashes for the fifth consecutive semester. I won’t have to submit requests for overrides anymore, or complain that the most interesting classes are reserved for freshmen only.

It’s a bit refreshing, but to be completely honest, that’s also a little scary. This is it: one of the final steps in my undergraduate career. The only thing left to do is pass my classes, and I’ll finally get my hands on that degree.

It’s what the last four years have been leading up to, and I’ve been convinced it’s a stepping-off point for the rest of my life. Yet somehow, when graduation is right around the corner, I’m still met with trepidation. This would be the first time in my entire life that my primary role was something other than “full-time student.”


The last bullet point on my life goals checklist is “college graduation.”

After that, it’s a little bit of a mystery. It’s not that I don’t have any plans post-graduation, but everything is still a bit up in the air. There must be other seniors in similar situations—so focused on graduation that what follows is still an uncertainty. There are even a few people that I know of that still haven’t decided on a career path.

It’s an unsettling feeling—all the work that you put into getting your degree, but you aren’t completely certain what you will use that degree for. Even though I do feel a bit hesitant towards the future, I take solace in the fact that what comes next doesn’t necessarily need to follow a perfect plan.

What I choose to do with that coveted document remains uncertain. Will I write novels? Become a freelance journalist? Teach high school or college? Will I go back to school to earn the even more coveted Ph.D.? The future could be a combination of all these options, or maybe even none of them.

It’s okay to be a little afraid of uncertainty. There will be a lot of changes in your life in the next few months: new responsibilities, different people, and (hopefully) dozens of job offers. There’s still some time to come to a decision. Whatever happens after college, I’ll be on the path that best suits me.

If you’re like me and still not completely set on any option, don’t worry too much about it. You will figure something out when the time comes. After all, you’ve managed to make it through another grueling registration process. What could be worse than that?

William & Mary: College of William and Mary