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May 31, 2019

Jason Hewitt ’20

Watching all of your older friends graduate is definitely a weird feeling.

Everything just happens so quickly in college. One minute, you are hanging out with all of your friends who are seniors, and the next minute, they all have Oberlin degrees. The crazier part is that you’re next up to have that same degree in a year. As an incoming senior, these past three years have been some of the fastest three years of my life. So many things have happened throughout these past three years. Some of those experiences have been good, and some of them have been terrible. However, I’m still excited to see what the future holds for me in my last year at Oberlin and beyond.

It seems crazy to believe that I’m about to be a senior from both an athletic and academic standpoint. 

This means that I may have more people looking up to me than ever before since I have been at Oberlin. I know for a fact that I looked up to quite a few upperclassmen over the years. With every class that graduates, I feel more and more pressure and urgency to lead those who are in classes after me. The pressure doesn’t really worry me, though. I have been looking forward to being a senior ever since I’ve been at Oberlin. The respect that seniors receive from everybody is just... different. I experienced some of that respect as a junior, but I know it’s really about to be apparent as a senior. The respect doesn’t just come from the students either. Professors and faculty members do as well. There are certain expectations that come with being a senior. We’re supposed to have Oberlin (mostly) figured out by now. We should be the masters of all the cheat codes and shortcuts that got us to where we were at, and we should also understand all the hard work that is required of us here. It’s a mixed bag in a way. This applies to both the academic and athletic side to Oberlin, at least from my perspective anyway. 

Athletically, seniors are the foundation to their sports teams. The quality of the senior class often determines the type of season the team is going to have.

When it comes to sports teams, the seniors are often some of the most important members of the team. They are ultimately the backbone to the rest of the organization. The coaches and underclassmen are all extremely important to a program’s success. However, the seniors and mindset they have ultimately determine how far that team could go. This isn’t the case all the time, but it happens way too often to go unnoticed. When you see college teams win championships, the seniors are often the main ones who are in the spotlight. When you think of the people who are chosen as captains, they are most likely senior members of that team. This is because seniors have been a part of the program for the longest period of time. Because the seniors have dedicated so much time as well as hard work into the programs they’re a part of, they deserve to have that kind of attention. They put in enough work to receive all the accolades and attention that they get, because after that year, they’ll be graduated and out into the “real world.”

Another important aspect about being a senior is that there will be fees... Many, many, MANY fees... 

As usual, I have to keep it real with you guys. Senior year is going to be expensive, especially if you expect to live far away from home when you go to Oberlin. This time around, you may not be able to leave your stuff in storage. You may just have to find a way to take it all with you in a U-Haul to wherever you end up living. That’s just one of many worries. There are graduation fees, of course. You may have to figure something out with your guardians if there are many people coming to your graduation, because they may have to pay for flights to come see you receive your degree in Tappan Square. Commencement week is also... wild to say the least, so you may want to save some money for that as well. Also, as a senior, you may feel encouraged to try new things at Oberlin or in Ohio in general, and that could also cost more money. I am not saying any of this to discourage you from doing that; in fact, I know that I am going to explore more than ever next semester. I just understand that spending money is usually a consequence to having fun in college. I’m sure there are also more hidden fees that are left out of this post. I’m not hiding anything; I just don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Money management is a very important skill to develop in college, so practicing wise spending habits early will help you out a LOT during your senior year. I have seen many seniors finish their time at college without doing so, and their wallets suffered for it. Don’t be like them. Learn from their experiences, and thrive off of that knowledge! 

As for me...

I’m ecstatic to see what my senior year holds for me. I have already made enough memories to last for a lifetime throughout my three years at Oberlin College, and I know for a FACT that this year will be the most special to me. It’s my last year of football, so I have to go all out. It’s my last year to write on this wonderful blog page. It’s also my last year to write for more great platforms such as The Oberlin Review and The Grape. There are a lot of “lasts” that come with being a senior, and I feel like those moments will be very bittersweet. I’m excited to apply the knowledge I’ve learned at Oberlin to my career and do great things as an Obie alum, but I also know that I’m going to miss a lot of things about this special place. Hopefully, when I read this post again in a year, you’ll be thriving at Oberlin, and I will be reading this with a smile, knowing that I did everything that I wanted to do for a legendary  senior year.