When you enter junior year, you’re convinced that this is going to be your best year yet. You’ll ace all your exams, hit up the hottest parties and maybe have a romance or two. But realizing that you only have two years left of college is going to hit you hard- whether you’re ready for it or not. Every student experiences a mid-college life crisis sometime during their university career. Here are the 12 stages that you are going to go through once you get to that halfway mark.
1. The Denial Stage
At first you won’t believe you only have two more years of college left. That still seems like a lot of time, but at the same time it means your college career is halfway over. You’ll try to start off your junior year stress-free and innocent, just like your past two years, but the denial will catch up to you.
2. The Crying Over Pizza and Netflix Stage
Once it hits you that you’re at the halfway mark, you’ll feel an overwhelming flood of emotions. You only have a few more semesters to embrace the joys of campus dining halls and sorority events. You’ll binge-watch your favorite season of Grey’s Anatomy while stuffing your face with greasy pizza to try and cope.
3. The Looking at Your Transcripts Stage
You’ll take a peak at your grades to see how all your studious efforts have paid off, and you’ll feel nowhere close to med school. Getting good grades is not as easy as pulling a couple all-nighters and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee -- contrary to what the movies make it seem. You’ll feel defeated.
4. The “What Am I Doing With My Life?” Stage
You’ll feel like you haven’t done anything productive with your time in college. All you’ve been doing is suffering through papers and midterms and labs, and that won’t feel like it’s paying off. You’ll feel like there’s more out there than the inside of the library that you need to experience ASAP before it’s too late.
5. The Partying Every Night Stage
What better way to live-up the last few years than with a good ol’ kegger? You’ll probably try to embrace a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality and test out the party scene that you thought you left behind after freshmen year. You’ll quickly watch yourself become a regular at the campus bar and will come to know all the frat boys by name.
6. The Refusing to Study Stage
You’ve probably developed a fear of your textbooks by this stage. Between your constant hangovers and the defeat after seeing your transcripts, you can’t put yourself through anymore pain. You’ll refuse to study, even though you know that is not the right thing to do.
7. The “I’m Going to Be a Hairdresser” Stage
Since you feel like your academic career is over, you’ll be looking for other job options. You might try cutting your friends’ hair in a bid to prove you can be a hairdresser. Or maybe you’ll take over the dorm kitchen trying to be the next Rachel Ray. All you’ll know is that it’s time to reinvent yourself.
8. The Calling Your Parents at Midnight Stage
Although you’ve been partying it up, ignoring your academics and trying to learn the ways of Martha Stewart, things still aren’t going right. You’ll call up your parents at heinous times of the night to vent and have them tell you what to do.
9. The Realizing Everyone is Going Through the Same Thing Stage
Eventually you’ll realize that all your friends and classmates in junior year are going through the same mid-college crisis. Everyone is scared of the unknown and is questioning if the past few years have been worth it. It’ll be reassuring knowing you’re not the only one who feels like they’re going insane.
10. The Feeling Guilty Stage
Ignoring the reality of college hasn’t been helping -- it’s only made you feel worse. You feel bad for putting your grades to the side (especially if you actually do want to get into med school) and drinking more than you ever thought was possible. It’s time to stop the madness.
11. The "I Need to Focus" Stage
You’re finally getting back on track! You have set up camp back in the library (thankfully right before midterms) and are determined to ace everything that comes at you. It’s no use trying to run away from your problems; you’re determined to face them head on.
12. The Realization That You Still Have Two More Years
Two years is still a long time. While graduation is creeping up closer, you’ll finally reach a sense of peace that you still have time to accomplish everything on your bucket list. The world isn’t as scary as you thought it was, and you’re ready for it.
In the end, every student goes through the same panic of being almost done their degree. Make sure that you have a strong support system behind you, and work to get yourself back on track ASAP. It’s okay to take time to process all the emotions that come with entering your junior year, just make sure to do it in a healthy and safe way. You still have two more amazing years to go, and, believe us, that is still a lot of time.