Dear Mom, February 9th Article

Mom, Columnist

Dear Mom,

Senior help! I’m having a hard time balancing studying for senior exams, applying to jobs and also making the most of my last semester at Whitman. How do I accomplish everything I need to graduate while also still having fun with my friends while we are all still here?

Struggling Senior


Dear Struggling Senior,

It’s your last semester! I don’t mean to restate the obvious, but IT IS YOUR LAST SEMESTER AT WHITMAN. Holy smokes.

How did this happen?

And what a time it has been.

Do you remember being blindfolded for pinging? Struggling with St. Augustine? Getting back your first Gen Chem test? Walking out to the wheat fields for a sunset taqueria dinner? That feels almost like a separate lifetime.

And now there’s senior-things to do: thesis, writtens, orals, exams, upper-level classes, a few SSRAs and the job search/curse. In the end Whitman certainly makes you feel ready to be done.

Something that I have been thinking about lately is how, as students, we rarely give enough credit to Whitman for the ways in which our institution shapes us. Whitman rubs off on each of us differently, but I would like to think that, for the vast majority, the outcome of four years here is a positive one. We leave, for the most part, a bit wiser, more tempered and more capable than when we began. We leave prepared to face the world on our own two feet. This is not to say that you should rest easy with this knowledge, but rather that when you apply yourself you are capable of tackling whatever comes your way.

Sadly, Dear Struggling Senior, I don’t have a definitive answer for you. My experience at Whitman has taught me that one does have to make sacrifices when trying to find time for everything. You can’t do it all, but you can do a few things very well. My suggestion is to ask yourself what will be the most important to you 20 years down the road?

If the answer is writing a kickass thesis, then by all means blow your professors away. If it is making memories with the people you are surrounded by, then go to coffee, toss a frisbee on Ankeny, crack open a bottle of wine or do whatever it is that will help you strengthen those relationships. If it is getting straight A’s, finding a job or being really involved with a student club, then pursue that with the excitement and enthusiasm you are capable of. On an intuitive level I think you know what matters the most to you – so work towards that. Be confident in your decision and enjoy.


With Love,