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When I “graduated” from 8th grade, my cousin told me to enjoy my four years of high school because they’d be over before I knew it. I laughed and walked away, thinking about how silly that was. Four years is so long! Then I blinked and I was tossing my cap into the air with the class of 2009. I blinked again and I was crossing the stage with a journalism degree in my hand, a member of the class of 2013.

While my senior year of college was my favorite, it was also pretty angst-ridden and stressful. Nobody prepares you for how difficult it is to leave behind the place where you started becoming an adult and where you met the people who would leave you forever changed.

Best Friends - Senior Year - College Seniors - Graduating

Nothing can take away how bittersweet embarking on your final year as an undergrad truly is, but here are a few tips to help you avoid a full-fledged panic attack:

Do all of the things.

Do All The Things Meme - Blank
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Close the bar with your friends and dance on the benches. Attend games and tailgate and be a part of it all. Go to a frat party just to laugh at the freshman and how they look like babies. Lay on rooftops. Finally go to that music festival you always had an excuse to miss before. Dance with your roommate in your kitchen. Fall in love, or out of love, or both. Try not to get upset when people ask you what you’re doing after graduation.

See your friends.

Students-Eating-Pizza-College-Friends

Duh. Of course you should see your friends. But senior year is busy. Your classes are harder, the job hunt is more intense, and time passes faster. Make the effort to see everyone, even friends you might have lost touch with since your first couple years of school. This isn’t high school, and you aren’t all going back to the same hometown. See each other while you still only live a couple blocks away.

Take too many pictures.

Students Taking Pictures - College Students

I only regret the pictures I don’t have, not the ones I do…mostly.

Relax.

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No matter how you slice it, college has to end at some point. As my best friend pointed out to me, we all get four years (except for those of you who take five…jealous). Time will pass as it passes and things will happen as they happen. Make the most of it and breathe.

How will you make the most of senior year? 


All images (unless otherwise noted) via Thinkstock