Seniors at the College are getting flashbacks of four years ago: having anxiety about leaving a familiar setting, preparing to go into the “real world,” feeling the need to fit in all of the fun they can before they have too much responsibility to do so, and not caring a thing about what’s going on in class.
Some seniors are student teaching and some are interning to get an advantage in the job market. Others are sitting pretty, having lined up a job or gotten accepted into graduate or medical school. Still others are freaking out because they have no idea what they are doing after commencement on May 13.
“I’m living it up,” Zac Follmer, senior business management major, said of his final year at the College.
Although he admits it is a little stressful because he is interning and has core classes for his major, he’s not letting that get him down.
“When I look back, I’m going to remember the time with my friends, not time studying in my room or rushing to finish projects,” he said. He’s as social as he was freshman year, he said, and even as a senior he’s still meeting new people.
“I’m making the best of it and enjoying myself,” he said.
Part of making the best of his time was attending this year’s formal. “The formal was good,” he said.
His greatest disappointment about his senior year, though, is the Giants’ poor showing this season. He designed his class schedule around football, making sure he had nothing Tuesday mornings so he could watch Monday Night Football each week. Sadly, his team finished with a 6-10 record and many disappointed fans.
Follmer has a job lined up in management at Blinds To Go, where he interned this past summer, but he said he wants to keep his options open. He’s still sending out resumes to places just in case he can find something better.
Maggie Dugan, senior English and elementary education major, said that one great thing about this year is that she has been seeing people who she met and spent time with freshman year but had not seen much of since.
“It’s so funny how people were just popping up everywhere,” she said. “That’s who we came in with.” Seeing people with whom she began college life in her senior year is like making the full circle in her collegiate career.
She said she hopes to spend quality time with her friends this year because she fears she will not keep in touch with many people, which is what happened with her high school friends. She wants to hang out with people on campus while she still can.
“I want to see people while they’re here,” she said.
Dugan said her senior year has been good but is busier than expected. That is partially because she is student teaching fifth grade at Delaware Township Elementary School. She finds her experience pleasurable, though.
“They’re a good group of kids,” she said.
She’s glad she did student teaching in the spring, she said, because it makes the transition to the real world easier. She felt that fall semester just seemed like busy work because the way education majors are scheduled, her semester was filled with general education classes.
She remains anxious about next year because she does not have a job lined up. She has utilized the Education On-Campus Recruitment through Career Services, but it has not turned up any openings near her home in Manasquan.
Dugan said she wants to live at home for a while to take her dad up on the offer to bank her first few pay checks.
Besides acquiring a job for next fall, one of Dugan’s goals for senior year is to make it to one of the Senior Nights at Kat Man Du, but she has not had luck so far. Dugan’s best effort was thwarted when the event was cancelled last semester, and every other plan has fallen apart as well. But she remains determined to rock out on the dance floor at Kat Man Du with her classmates.
Jeremy Mitchell, senior marketing major, is enjoying his senior year. He doesn’t have much work, he said, partially because half of his schedule is comprised of two electives: Stress Management and Outdoor Recreation.
He uses his downtime constructively: having the best time he can. He enjoyed this year’s formal, and looks forward to leaving the day after graduation to spend three weeks in Europe with his friends.
Mitchell is anxious about next year and working in general. He was offered a sales operations position through his internship at Liz Claiborne; however, the position needed to be filled immediately and that was impossible with his classes.
Like many other seniors, Mitchell doesn’t really want to live at home next year but sees that as a possibility because, as he said, “I need money.”
Seniors all over campus are having similar experiences to Follmer, Dugan and Mitchell. Each balances planning for the future and living for now.
No matter how they choose to spend their time this year, none will forget their senior year at the College.