Senior to-dos for the final stretch


By Nicki Halenza

To my dearest fellow seniors, let me just quickly draw attention to the fact that we have five more weeks at the University before we graduate. I realize half of you are probably still in complete denial of this fact, shaking your heads, with fingers in your ears and eyes squinted closed. Instead of dwelling on this shocking reality, you’re hopefully using these last five weeks to do all of your favorite college student activities and maybe knock a couple of things off your bucket list. However, while you’re cramming in to-dos as you wrap up your college experience, don’t forget to stick to some basics:

Chill with your pals

OK, yes, duh, obviously — I know we aren’t all planning on being hermits, curling up in a ball and crying in our apartments over the inevitable end of college. But with Netflix binge-watching, being an antisocial hermit is an all too real possibility. Despite the temptation, don’t forget to hang out with your best buds. For many of us, this will be the last time we live within walking distance or in annoyingly close quarters with some of our closest friends for life. A 2007 Purdue University study on college friendships found that participants moved six times during the course of 19 years post graduation. The typical distance between these old college friends reached 895 miles. But, as the study also indicates, despite the distance, many people we meet in college will be our lifelong friends. Still, sadly it will probably be the last time we have the ability to see these friends every single day, so take advantage of it now.

Eat lots of food

Food is the solver of all problems. If you are sad and scared about graduating, have a slice of pizza (or ten) to soothe the emotional trauma. Just kidding, that’s terrible advice. Rather, take time to enjoy some of campus’s favorite food joints as you say au revoir to 2 a.m. Green Street restaurant trips and other generally poor dietary habits (no, seriously, there are studies about how bad we are at eating healthfully — as in too much soda intake, erratic eating patterns, too much fast food, not enough veggies … you know the drill). Start your morning with one of those fancy, Fruity Pebble-covered donuts from Pandamonium Doughnuts. Grab a few tacos and guac from Maize. Find the courage deep within your soul to consume one of Fat Sandwich’s calorie-ridden sandwiches (admittedly, I’m still scared to tackle Fat Sandwich.) Experience the splendor of C-U delicacies.

Hang out on the Quad

The Main Quad in all of its grassy, sidewalk-y glory is what we consider the central beacon of our University community. With a view of some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings on our campus, there’s no better spot to reminisce about four years of grueling exams, too many group projects and repulsive 8 a.m. classes. Chances are one or all of those things most likely took place in one of those beautiful buildings surrounding the Quad. And if you’re not one of those Quad-going slackliners, Frisbee throwers or Hula-Hoopers, no problem. Maybe do a quick Google search of our famous University alumnus Nick Offerman’s Reddit response regarding how to have fun on the Quad. (Warning: It’s hilarious and mostly illegal so I probably shouldn’t even be endorsing this — but whatever, I’m graduating.)

Abandon a night of homework or two

There’s a little old phrase that goes something like this: You’ll never remember the nights you got plenty of sleep. To cater that phrase to seniors: You’ll never remember the nights you stayed in and did homework. However, you will (probably) remember the times you went to Wednesday night karaoke or Tuesday night Ride the Rail. Moral of the story, take advantage of fun weeknight opportunities when they arise. I’m willing to bet if you made it all the way to graduation in the first place, you spent plenty of nights in, working hard and doing homework, forsaking an adequate social life.

So, my dear seniors, I leave you with these non-conclusive suggestions on how to spend your last five weeks. But, please, for your sake, do far more than what’s on this list. Soak up the last month of college and enjoy your remaining time as a Fighting Illini student.

Nicki is a senior in Media.

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