Seniors: graduation pressure is on

Senior year is the time to relax, right?

Most seniors have planned out their college years so their last year would not be filled with stress. However, factors other than classes can cause stress, too.

The average senior walking in commencement will spend upwards of $200 just in fees and this is just one part of the stress equation.

There is so much more that goes into it: graduation fees, announcements, family questions, let alone finding a job after graduation.

Senior year is not the time where you get to kick back and sleep. It is an endless flow of things to do and not enough time to do them.

Graduation used to be the “break free” moment for seniors, but this year is a little more tricky. The 2014 graduating class is one of the largest that California Lutheran University has ever seen.

“As the class grows, so do the number of guests that are attending. Last year, we came very close to running out of room in the stadium. It was decided that we wanted to make sure that every student had the opportunity to bring guests to the ceremony,” said Karissa Oien, academic affairs specialist.

To ease the pressure, CLU decided to give students a limited number of tickets.

Every graduating senior is allowed nine tickets with an additional five from the general pool. If a student needs additional tickets, there is an appeal process in place.

“Graduation is such a stressful event as it is. My parents are divorced and I have to delegate how many tickets go to who and this is an added stress that isn’t beneficial to my senior year,” senior Amanda Gonzales said.

Another huge factor often overlooked is money. Many students don’t realize all of the costs associated with graduating when they enter their senior year.

“I had no idea. I thought they were already paid for,” senior Eric Foster said.

“My two roommates are graduating, I have heard them say they have to buy their cap and gown and pay to walk. I had no idea how expensive it is,” junior Emily Flavin said.
With one month until graduation, seniors are coming close to finishing their college journey.

So, what are you going to do with your life? This is one of the most often asked questions for seniors. Each day closer to graduation is another day where the pressure is mounting to find a job.

On top of everything that needs to be taken care of, like finals, graduation expectations and keeping up an active social life, seniors are asked to be on a permanent job hunt even before finishing school.

Small assignments fall by the wayside because they don’t even make a blurb on the stress radar.

“I’m feeling really unmotivated to finish this semester. I’m going to grad school so I’m set for the next two years. At the end of the semester everyone piles on assignments and it’s really hard when you’re leaving to get all the work done and to do them well,” Foster said.

Here are a few tips on dealing with stress:
1.    Take three deep breaths. Sometimes three deep breaths can help more than you think.

2.    Get plenty of sleep: Yes, this might be difficult with finals just around the corner, but it is vital to stay healthy.

3.    Listen to music. Playing calm music has been shown to have a positive effect on the body and the mind.

4.    Call your BFF. Venting makes everything better.

5.    Eat right. Avoid those vending machines and try eating a tuna sandwich or an omelet. Fish and eggs contain Omega 3s, which reduce the symptoms of stress.

For most seniors, “senioritis” is so real you can feel it. Keep pushing forward and think: just a month left until you cross the finish line.


Katy Sullivan
Staff Writer
Published April 16, 2014