Senior Reflection: Being Present and Enjoying Now

This week, every professor or every supervisor has asked what excites me most about this year and what makes me most nervous. To both, I answer, “deciding on my next adventure!” Between perfecting my resume, interviewing for jobs, and researching costs of living in different cities, my future is all I’ve been able to think and talk about for the last month.

Reflecting on my last first week of classes in typical Jesuit fashion, I realize that I am not being present. I’m constantly visualizing my future. It’s only the first week and I already have job offerings for post-graduation. I graduate in exactly 260 days. Yo Mary, calm tf down.

Not only should I learn that planning never works (four years ago, my college plans made a complete 180 turn, multiple times), but I have a whole year to enjoy. I know that I will never be the nostalgic type (except for Rome because well, Rome), but I do want to savor my senior year. As I know too well, it’s going to fly by. Here are some things that I, as well as other seniors, should intentionally enjoy:

1. Classes

Since I technically only changed my major a year ago, I definitely don’t have blow-off classes this year. Even though I’m anxious to get out of the classroom, I should be mindful that most of my classes this year focus on experiential learning outside of the classroom. I don’t want to ever stop learning, so I should take advantage of my superior education now.

2. Chicago

I’m still not sure if I’ll be in Chicago after graduation or not, so I know I need to explore the city while I can. There’s so much I haven’t seen and so much I haven’t done. I vow to never say that I’m bored while living here!

3. Helping Underclassmen

Maybe this is just me because I live and work with a freshmen population, but I love helping them. Being hyperaware of myself, I can see myself in many of my underclassmen residents and co-workers. I remember feeling those same emotions, and I want to help them make their Loyola experience the best possible. Simply forming relationships with underclassmen can make a world of a difference when they see the potential in their adventure.

4. Being 21

In less than a month, all of my senior friends will be 21! This means we don’t have to go to crappy bars anymore. We might still pregame because we’re broke college students, but we can finally go to those speakeasies, the nice nightclubs, the casual happy hour. We can pretend to be classy!

5. Friends

As much as I don’t want to admit it, we will all be going separate ways after graduation. Many of my closest friends are pre-med which means they will most likely be leaving the state for medical school. Even when I’m busy and think I shouldn’t hang out with friends, I need to enjoy their laughs before we’re all grown up and living in separate states or countries.

Each year at Loyola has been transformative for me. I can’t wait to see my transformation in merely 260 days.

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