The time has arrived: your last year of college

​Are you ready for your last year of college? 

So, what’s next for you? 

These questions have been known to plague many college students in their final semesters.

​College is supposed to be the time of our young adult lives. It’s the time we get to be free and be stressed at the same time, all while figuring out who we are before we enter the real world. 

Eventually, college ends, and reality sets in.

​The transition from college to the real world is potentially one of the biggest tests any college student has ever encountered. Fortunately, this test will have no effect on your GPA!

​“Bills, health insurance, rent? Nah, that can all wait,” senior Ben Parson said. “With that being said, I do welcome the idea of new experiences, challenges and friendships that are an integral part of growing older.”

Senior Ben Parson

​Parson plans on graduating this spring with a degree in chemistry and hopes to have the opportunity to break into a STEM master’s degree program.

​“The field of science has always fascinated me,” Parson said. “Chemistry is essentially the study of the way matter interacts, which leads to a better understanding of why things happen the way they do.”

​College is like trying to put a puzzle together because every piece matters. To be successful, you have to learn how to strategically balance your life. Your first year of college may appear overwhelming, but that’s OK. 

Senior Hannia Zavala learned how to balance work, school and a social life by figuring out a schedule that fits her life.

​“I learned that the best thing for me was to pick Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes in order to work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends,” Zavala said. “Now, the free time I had in between became social and family time.”

Zavala will graduate in May 2020 with a degree in communication studies with an emphasis in interpersonal and public communications and a minor in entrepreneurship. She said she has enjoyed the process it takes to receive a degree, and meeting new people from all around the world revealed to her what her degree is all about.

​“I have always been passionate about communication and how it shapes our everyday routine,” Zavala said. “To learn more on what communication is and how it works, truly has allowed me to connect with a diverse array of people. My entrepreneurship minor stems from my dream to one day have my own business in the tourism industry and from the fact that entrepreneurial skills can help me all throughout my life.”

Parson is also optimistic about his investment in earning a college degree. 

​“Personally, I feel as if my degree was worth it,” Parson said. “Learning a technical science is time-consuming yet rewarding.”

​Parson acknowledged that if he didn’t attend college he would’ve used his hefty tuition and fees to start his own company.

​College gives students the opportunity to grasp new skills and knowledge they can use in their life and career.

​“When I go into the post-grad world, yes, I will use my degree to unlock doors of opportunity that will allow me to achieve success,” Zavala said. “In reality, I feel what I really will use will be the tools I obtained on my way to graduation.”

​Once students come to the end of this chapter, it’s important to reflect on what they’ve learned and possibly regret. Before Parson ends his chapter at UMKC, he encourages students to get involved because it’s the best way to connect and meet new people.

​“If I could go back and redo something, it would be to allow myself self-care time more often,” Zavala said. “Anything from exercising more often to mediating and eating clean, all of those can help your overall human and student experience.”

resrbr@mail.umkc.edu

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