“Time flies.” I always wondered why this phrase is used in academic settings.

Mainly, because in most cases of academia, things tend to take forever. Long hours spent day after day in classes, long nights spent doing everything but getting enough sleep to do it all over again the next day. And let’s not forget about how  the weeks seem to be never-ending and the weekends seem to last five seconds–the only occurrence when time actually does fly. However, approaching the start of my senior year, it is becoming more apparent to me that this phrase (as cliche as it sounds) holds no lies.

Everything my parents ever told me about how I thought high school didn’t last that long and how college would be even shorter holds no lies, either. I didn’t believe them. But being hyped up on the idea that college and high school were two completely different things, that college would be harder and take more time, how could I have?

I could make this about how I can’t wait to leave (which isn’t completely a lie…), how I can’t wait to start life and pursue the deepest desires of my heart (another cliche I hate), but that’s of course already true for most college students approaching graduation. Why not instead reflect on how college has forced me to make changes about myself that have been for the better? Why not take in that I have only one more year to handle business here on the hill, and that I don’t want it to feel like a race to the finish line?

Don’t get me wrong. I am excited to be a senior in the fall, excited to wrap up the work I’ve been doing on campus, excited to take on new tasks and complete those as well. But being able to reflect on where I am now and where I was three years ago is a refresher. I made it to where, at many times, I doubted I could reach–and knowing that I have even more steps to go in the coming year is that much more satisfying.

I know I’m speaking as if I’ve been a senior already, as if I’ll be out the door in a few more weeks like several of my close friends will, but it’s surreal to realize before I know it that will be me. To prepare myself for the bittersweet ending of what will be four eventful years and the beginning of new post-grad experiences, I can’t help but think about it now and prepare early.

Cheers to the close of my junior year, and the opening of the final chapter of my undergraduate career.