Photo courtesy of Anna Mir

Photo courtesy of Anna Mir

On August 22nd, I will experience my last first day of school.  Thinking about it makes me want to reach out to every person that I’ve met along the way who I know is about to start their senior year as well and reminisce over a memory we shared together.

A seemingly short three years ago, I was a doe-eyed freshman stepping onto campus, and now, I am doing it again but as a senior and far less doe-eyed. The bags under my eyes from those three years’ worth of late nights, early mornings, and misadventures in between are anything but designer.

Nostalgically, I found myself scrolling through my iPhoto and stopping on pictures of my first moments on campus. An hour of scrolling, two loads of laundry, and one sappy group text message later, I have met my quota of sentimentality for the day. A part of me wants to relive each and every memory — sneaking onto the football field to get a picture with my roommate, abandoning my mom’s dream of me joining a sorority after I chose to get a Subway during the first day of rush instead (true story), and walking through the old UV Wendy’s drive-through with a group of friends at 2:00 A.M. to get nuggets after a night out.

If these past couple of years have taught me anything, it’s that college has been the best teacher. I think the mistake that students make so often – from incoming freshmen to soon-to-be graduates – is that they get so caught up in the demands of being at a school like USC that they forget that sometimes the far more valuable lessons are those learned outside of the classroom. When you cross that stage to get your diploma, you should be leaving with much more than a piece of paper. If you look back and all your semesters are filled with your face down in a book rather than your hands up cheering at a tailgate, you may want to peep a new approach to college.

Don’t get me wrong, the scantron bubbles need to be bubbled, but you have the whole rest of your life to figure out “adulting.” Keep your academics on fleek, just not at the expense of making your extracurriculars bleak.

To anyone who has made it this far in the article, I know that getting my life together will make up a significant part of my senior year. However, so will saying “yes” to late-night runs to Roscoe’s with the crew and early mornings spent hiking to the Hollywood sign, burning off said chicken.

I’m sure you’re wondering, who is this chick giving me advice in what may seem like a foreign language? Peep? Fleek? Bleak? I’m no Dr. Seuss, but those who know me know that I deliver a whole lot of spice in everything I do, and while writing this blog this semester, I intend to keep it that way – real. I’m a senior with three back-to-back interviews this week alone, no post-graduation life plan, and about $26.00 in my bank account (thank you USC Bookstore for the ONE textbook).

What I hope readers will get out of this blog is a real look into what being a senior means before all the edited cap and gown pictures hit Instagram. With a side of humor, I plan on dishing out my own personal experiences before my final final. So, get your tea, your coffee, your glass of wine or any other drink of choice and sip with me through my senior year.

Samantha Johnson is a senior majoring in communication. Her blog column, “Sips Tea,” runs Fridays.