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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


First day of school marks beginning of the end for seniors

Sydney Richardson

2016 graduating seniors pose with Wilbur Wildcat on a couch outside Old Main.

The first two weeks of school have come and gone, but for seniors the first day of school held a special significance: it was their last first day of school. For some, it means the last first day of school ever, and for others, it means the last first day of school in their undergraduate years.

Now that the weeks are already flying by and we’re working our way through the next semester, the Daily Wildcat sought out some UA seniors to gain some perspective on how it feels to be a college senior after so many years of hard work climbing the academic ladder.

“It’s kind of weird, it didn’t feel like my last first day of college,” said Justin Murphy, an accounting senior. “I can definitely attest to the fact that I blinked my eyes and it was [the] first day of senior year.”

It seems that the next time we blink our eyes, graduation day will be here. For seniors, the feeling is no doubt a mix of nostalgia and eagerness. Nostalgia, for they likely remember their very first day of college, and eagerness to move on to the next stage in their life.

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“I think it’s both nervousness and excitement,” said James Skinner, a finance senior, regarding his last first day. “Nervousness because it’s like, where will I be in a year, and excitement because … where will I be in a year?”

Skinner echoes much of what graduating seniors feel, but nonetheless, there is still a sense of relief attached to knowing that the end of one’s undergraduate career is drawing closer.

“Even for my first year of school, I was still anxious,” said Beatriz Ortez, an accounting student. “I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end.” Ortez plans to work for a small firm outside of Tucson following graduation.

For some seniors, however, the first day of senior year doesn’t necessarily mean the last first day of school. Kim Biador, a physiology senior, is one such example.

“I’m planning to go to medical school and grad school, so it just feels like any other day,” Biador said.

This is true for many seniors pursuing graduate degrees. However, the first day of senior year has marked their last first day as undergraduates. And, once graduation arrives, they will be one college degree closer to their goals and dreams.

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m looking forward to what comes after graduation at the same time,” said Marjon Solis, a physiology senior. “I’m nervous about getting out into the real world.” Solis plans to take a gap year before applying to medical school.

A college degree opens up many doors in life, which is why so many high school graduates pack up and head straight for their chosen campus. It can be heart stopping when you pause and let it sink in that this is your final year of college, but once that moment passes, another takes its place.

After a moment of reassurance that this is what you’ve worked for, it’s time to move on to wherever you’ve been heading since the day you decided what career you wanted to pursue. College prepares you to tackle obstacles and to navigate your way through many growing opportunities, and the rest you learn as you go.

“I can’t believe that I’m almost done, it’s just two semesters left and I’m going to be graduating in the upcoming spring,” said Suzan Albadri, a biochemistry senior. “I’m so excited and I’m honestly proud of myself, and that my parents, my family, my friends, are proud of me.” She plans to attend medical school or grad school following graduation. 

RELATED: UA boasts most diverse freshmen class in university history for Fall 2017

Albadri offered some inspiring words that we can all relate to.

“It has been tough, I had very tough times doing my studies,” Aldabri said. “You always have to have hope, believe in yourself, and you can do it. You’ll have some challenging things that are going to come up in your life, but in the end, you can do it and you will feel happy and successful.”

Officially being a college senior is a strange feeling that you either grasp or have yet to grasp. Many seniors have braved it all, from wild parties to pulling all-nighters. They know the campus like the backs of their hands, they have created lifelong bonds and memories that make them Wildcats for life. 

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