All Aboard the Quarter-Life Crisis

There is only a little over a week left of classes and then a week of finals before this academic year comes to a close. The other day I was walking back to Wyoming Hall with a fellow classmate. Simply trying to strike up a conversation, I asked her if she was a senior or junior (I knew it was one of the two). She said she was a junior.

I said, “Oh, then, you’re fine. You still have a year before graduation.”

The junior shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Yeah, but I already know what I plan to do and that I’m going to SUNYIT so I am really just taking classes to prepare for it.” I didn’t really know what to say to that. Usually, seniors are beyond consoling over the end to their undergraduate career while juniors scramble to figure out what they want to do with their lives, but this girl had a plan. In fact, she was ready for it to begin.

“Wow. That’s great!” I said, “And probably such a relief.”

“Yeah, it really is. Do you know what you want to do?” She asked.

“Well, I’m an English/Communications double-major.”

“Do you know what you want to do with it?”

“Well…no…not really, but I’m only a sophomore,” I said, fumbling to give her the excuse I give everyone who asks me. In response, the girl nodded her agreement and gave me a few words of encouragement, something along the lines of Yeah, you still have time or Don’t worry. It’s far off. 

But I realized it isn’t far off at all. In two short weeks, I will no longer be a sophomore. I will hit the halfway mark in my undergraduate career and will have to label myself as a…a….JUNIOR. The horror! The excuse that “I’m only a sophomore” turns into “I’m already a junior.” How do I cope with this sudden realization? Oh no. Is this a quarter-life crisis?

I remember returning to my room and lying on my bed, feeling the ceiling grow smaller and the kittens on my calendar laugh at my naivety — okay, let’s not get too dramatic.

In reality, I came back from my day of classes, took a power nap, and then announced my qualms to my friends over wraps at MJ. We all had our own panic attacks, some raving about how unfair it is that society makes us decide our futures so young (mostly the social science and undecided majors) and others joking about the mysterious term known as “bills” (and I don’t mean the football team!).

Obviously, no one had their ah-ha moment during this gathering where they decide on a future after Geneseo and all is right in the world. However, it was comforting to know that we were all in the same boat; voyaging from the safe land of Sophomoretopia to the unknown island of Juniorland (I know the names are lame, but just work with me). I already know I am going to miss Geneseo and the thought of not having one notion about my future is pretty scary, but it’s nice to know that I am not alone and, though it is shortening every day, I truly do still have time to figure it out.


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