Catching Up with a Senior from 2017

Emma Bauer, Staff Writer

Senior year can be a mix of emotions. We get excited, nervous, even anxious, and full of anticipation. What can we expect from the following year, after graduation?

Everyone’s experiences differ, but I decided to catch up with my best friend and 2017 graduate, Allyssa Graafsma, a current student at TCC who was recently accepted into UNT for the 2018 spring semester.

College, no surprise, is a completely different world compared to high school. The amount of freedom you have has exponentially increases, but so does your responsibility. If you live away from home in a dorm, and even if you don’t, you are responsible for getting up and getting yourself to class.

Well, don’t you have to do this in high school too, you ask?

Yes, but in college, you don’t always have a class that starts at 8:30 a.m. You may start with a late morning class, have a two hour break, and have a class again in the early afternoon.

The hardest part for Graafsma, that she thought would be easier, was consistently going to certain classes.

“The classes in general [are easier than I thought]. For most classes going toward your associate’s degree, all you have to do is do the work and turn it in,” she said.

But I’m wondering, and I think some of you are too, how does the actual classroom experience differ from that of high school? Graafsma had an answer. 

“I feel a lot more relaxed. The professors leave your work to you, and it’s entirely your own responsibility, and somehow that makes life a little easier since high schools and middle schools have really begun to hover over students in recent years.”

This might be a great tip or heads up for seniors planning on going to TCC after high school. The step from high school to college can definitely be intimidating, so TCC is a great compromise. But Graafsma has bigger plans.

“I’m really excited to go to university and get involved in a big community. I want to get out of my comfort zone,” she elaborated.

Well, she has to be nervous, right? This is a big deal.

“[I’m] not really nervous. I take things as they come, and I honestly haven’t thought about anything that makes me nervous or uncomfortable,” Graafsma replied.

Socially, college is different from high school as well, especially when you first get there. You’re surrounded by a new group of people, most of which you haven’t been around since grade school. It is a big change.

“College has made me more open and comfortable with myself,” she began. “People are more talkative and sociable in college for some reason. You can’t really be clique-y in college.”

For me at least, this is a very interesting fact that I was glad, if not relieved, to learn.

“I love life! [I’m] taking things one step at a time, doing what I need to do to prepare myself for moving out. Every day gets better,” Graafsma said.

Well, what can we really expect? How do we deal with the experience that is college, something that is coming toward seniors pretty quickly?

“My advice is not to lose yourself if you go straight off to university. There are going to be a lot of temptations and things that may seem cool, but they might end up eating at you. Don’t let other people change you. Become comfortable with yourself as much as you can before you’re thrown into the college environment,” Graafsma said.