Being a senior in college is like high school all over again, except it’s sadder, more exciting, more challenging, and more stressful than you’ve ever imagined. Instead of it just being the season finale, it’s the series finale and every second you’re on edge wondering what exciting thing will happen next.
People always ask me, “Hey, Laffon, you do so much, and it’s your last year. How do you handle all that pressure?” I usually laugh, smile back at them, and then say, “I don’t.” Then I walk away, leaving them standing in a world of ambiguous answers and more questions. I must say, though, with two jobs, two executive positions in clubs, and a thriving social life on top of a full course load of English classes, I really am doing a lot.
The most important thing to do, whether you’re a senior or a freshman, is to plan your time. Whatever happens, you are going to have pressure on you. There are going to be do-or-die projects. There are going to be those papers you have to write on topics that seemed to be written in hieroglyphics. There are going to be those days where your hair falls out and you just want to crawl home to mama. Those things happen. It’s important to recognize the pressure and accept it as it is, but don’t let it get in the way of your downtime.
This is especially important for all you gamers out there. I’ve heard parent after parent complain about how they’re afraid their son or daughter won’t do well in school because when times get real, they’ll revert to playing their favorite stress-relieving video game—which is cool, because I do the same thing.
Every day after all my classes end, I play an hour of FIFA or 2K before I open another book, laptop, phone, or anything else that could lead to work. It’s called a mandatory relax hour. I believe everyone should have one to take off the pressure. If you make that hour a habit, the stress goes away. After that hour, you’ll feel reenergized and ready to take on whatever crazy assignments your professors throw at you. To do well in school, you have to let the pressure be pressure. You just have to decide whether you’ll be on the ground or on cloud 9 when it comes.
Laffon Brelland, Jr. is a senior at University of South Carolina who will be graduating this spring with a B.A. in English. Laffon is active in many different clubs on campus, enjoys writing poetry and short stories, and is now trying his hand at comedy.