How to enjoy end of college

By Lucas Deal

This column goes out to all of my fellow seniors.

Well guys, it’s all over.

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After four glorious years here at the University of Illinois, it’s time for us to leave our security blanket of college and venture out into the real world.

When we walk across our respective graduation stages next Sunday, everything we’ve ever worked for, everything we’ve ever known, will be over.

When we wake up on the morning of Monday, May 14, we won’t be students anymore. We won’t be kids; we won’t be adolescents or even young adults – we’ll be full-grown, no more excuses adults.

Our lives will be our responsibility. We will be alone and on our own.

It’s weird, we spend 17 years in school working our way to the top of the totem pole, to king of the mountain, and as soon as we get there our time is up.

After graduation, we’re back at the bottom again.

I don’t want to sound sappy or wax poetic over this; I don’t think I’m that kind of guy, but I must admit I am a little anxious about what’s to come.

For the first time in our lives, we won’t have our schedules planned out for us months in advance.

We won’t know exactly where we need to be all the time. We won’t have to study for tests, we won’t have homework.

In a way, we’ll finally be free. I guess it’s up to each of us as to how we handle it.

But hey, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s remember that we still have a week left, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we should go out and enjoy it.

If there’s a building on the Quad you’ve never been in, check it out.

If you’ve never been to a baseball game, head out to Illinois Field and catch a game; the boys host Indiana over graduation weekend.

Hit every campus restaurant you always said you’d go to but never did. I still haven’t been to Geovanti’s, but you can be sure I’m going this week.

Go back to your freshman dorm and raise hell. Track down your old roommates; Facebook your old RA.

Go in the steam tunnels, play a game on the Quad, get on a bus you don’t know and see where it takes you.

Walk around campus and remember how much bigger it felt four years ago.

Rent a movie from the undergrad, get lost in the main stacks, take a nap in the Union.

See a live band. Make one last pilgrimage to Bonnie Jeans and join the mug club at Illini Inn while you’re waiting.

Go out at night and try places you normally wouldn’t. Leave your comfort zone. Check out downtown Urbana and downtown Champaign.

Have a conversation with a total stranger. Talk to that one person you see all the time but have never acknowledged. Everybody’s got one.

It honestly doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure you make the most of it.

Don’t spend this last week of college bliss pass you by.

It’s been a quick four years and this last week will go by even quicker, so if you don’t pack as much as possible into these last seven days, you’ll miss your chance forever.

Above all, isn’t that what finals week is supposed to be for us? We’re second semester seniors. We’re cruising to the finish line. Sure, there are finals, and we all have to take them, but let’s be honest, there’s not a senior on this campus that hasn’t mastered the studying philosophy of doing “just enough.”

So seniors, I beg of you, when you’re not studying don’t sit around. There will be plenty of time for that after graduation when we’re working every day.

But until that Monday morning, we’re still kids.

And this is still our mountain.

Lucas Deal is a senior in Communications. He can be reached at [email protected]