Blog,  Essays/Experiences

My Fourth-Year Experience

As many of you already know, I am currently in my fourth year of university. This is not my last year, in case you were wondering. I, like many students nowadays, am taking an extra year of school so I can lighten my course load and my stress each semester.

I am just over a month into the first semester of my fourth year of university and it is definitely my worst semester yet. I don’t hate school – in fact, I love learning and becoming more knowledgeable about the world around me. I just hate homework, essays, and exams because of the effort I have to put into them and the stress they cause me, and this hatred has grown every semester.

I always heard from older friends that they lost all motivation in third or fourth year, but I never really understood or believed it until now. I used to try so hard in first and second year, and even last fall I was much more on top of readings and assignments. I did all the readings for all of my classes and I wrote essays at least a week in advance, while this fall I am struggling to keep up with my readings and I’m writing essays and completing projects days before the deadline. What happened?

I don’t really have an answer to this. I’m not entirely sure what changed in the past few years except for my attitude. When I first came to university, I was so excited to be there and to learn, but that excitement has worn off and now I’m just sick of following the same routine every semester. I am desperate to break free of the student life and graduate, but the mere thought of graduating and having to find a career terrifies me. Don’t get me wrong, I want to finish school and get a career as soon as possible, I’m just afraid that I won’t be able to find a job after I graduate and I’ll be stuck in limbo, working some awful customer service job to pay my bills. The other option that terrifies me is that I won’t be qualified to get a job I want, and instead I will have to settle for something that I completely hate, and I’ll end up stuck in that job for years.

My fear of finding a career directly opposes my need to graduate as quickly as possible, but I can’t find a way to reconcile these two things. I suppose I could start looking into career options now, but I’m afraid that will just add extra stress, and I do not need that right now as I am already on the brink of a meltdown with multiple essays, midterms, and projects due within the next couple weeks. My other option is to try to enjoy or at least appreciate school and the structure of it while I can, and perhaps find some extra motivation as well. I do enjoy having a relatively free schedule in comparison to the schedule I’ll have when I get a full-time job, but I wish I had more time to actually relax and have fun with friends instead of spending my free time doing homework.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I don’t have a specific message or piece of wisdom to impart on whoever is reading this post. I just want to get my thoughts and anxieties out in hopes that I am not the only person feeling this way.

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