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  • By Ian Livingston Brooking

Seniors: How to make your last year count

Now that the first week and a half of classes are drawing to a close, you can sit back and take a moment or two to soak it all in. Before you go back to working on that capstone project or that term paper that’s due in October, take a moment to think about what you are to embark on.

You are in the final year of your undergraduate career. Think about that. Isn’t it remarkable?

A journey that you started however many years ago is now coming to a close. Be proud of yourself.

With the final leg of your journey going underway, know that you are about to embark on one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, times of your life. I know you want to get to the finish line. I know you want to get to the part where you hear your name called in the HTC Center and shake President DeCenzo’s hand.

I was the same way. I just wanted to get it over with.

In the end, I was able to embrace the journey and not look at it like it was just another boring chapter in a college textbook I probably never will read. I pushed myself and I achieved that goal that I honestly never thought I would reach.

If you want to avoid feeling this or figure out how to succeed to when times get rough, follow these five pieces of advice.

  • Stay off of social media as much as you can allow yourself. Working in journalism made it really hard for me to follow this tip. The reason I put it at the top of my list is because social media has become one of the most destructive things in people’s lives. I cannot tell you how many times I was having a good day and then I saw someone that I rarely talk to post something on social media that ticked me off and stuck with me for the whole day or even longer. One of the best things I did was delete Snapchat for a majority of the Spring semester the year I graduated. Not having that extra thing to look at gave me so much time to work on other things and I ended not losing sleep over pointless arguments with people.

  • Take care of yourself. One of the worst things I did my senior year was take on too much. I was the editor of the student paper here. I volunteered my time doing film for the football team. I was working over at WPDE ABC 15 as a news editor/prompter (a job I still have to this day). Oh, and I was a full-time student. Needless to say, I overcommitted myself to a lot of things and to a lot of people. I made promises that I didn’t keep, and, in the end, I failed. It took me realizing that I was not only failing the people around me but myself as well to make a significant change in my life. That change? Sleep. Sleep is your friend, seniors. There are going to be times when you just need to be honest with yourself and go get some sleep. It is not selfish to take care of yourself.

  • Go out in the community. No, this does not mean go to Tongy’s. Horry County has a lot to offer. Go to Broadway at the Beach and walk around the shops there. Go into downtown Conway to enjoy the Riverwalk, the local shops and dining options. I know it is a bit of a drive but Brookgreen Gardens and the MarshWalk down in Murrell’s Inlet are incredible. And lastly, go check out the state parks that are in the area. Take some time, if you haven’t already, to get to know the area you have called home for the past four years.

  • Continue to be studious. I know I am going to be like a parent here but there is a reason why you are still here succeeding as an undergrad and are about to finish your degree. It is because you care. I would love to say I never went to office hours and that college was one of the easiest experiences of my life. But I can’t. I wouldn’t be where I am at today if it wasn’t for those office hours, late nights in Kimbel, early mornings in the student union and long text chains between groupmates. Continue to be the student you have been and then some. Still go to office hours and have those heart to hearts with your professors. Continue to be a good student.

  • Support Teal. Go support your fellow student-athletes. Not only are they putting work into their sport, they are also putting work in the classroom just like you. You honestly have no idea what it means to them to see you guys at their games. And it is a great time to be a Chanticleer sports fan. The new Brooks Stadium is about to open and other sports teams like our soccer and volleyball programs are looking to make long postseason runs so go out and cheer on that teal, white, black AND BRONZE!

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